February 17 Acceptance Our basic recovery concept that never loses its power to work miracles is the concept called acceptance. We do not achieve acceptance in a moment. We often have to work through a mirage of feelings—sometimes anger, outrage, shame, self-pity, or sadness. But if acceptance is our goal, we will achieve it. What is more freeing than to laugh at our weaknesses and to be grateful for our strengths? To know the entire package called “us”—with all our feelings, thoughts, tendencies, and history—is worthy of acceptance and brings healing feelings. To accept our circumstances is another miraculous cure. For anything to change or anyone to change, we must first accept ourselves, others, and the circumstance exactly as they are. Then, we need to take it one step further. We need to become grateful for ourselves or our circumstances. We add a touch of faith by saying, “I know this is exactly the way it’s supposed to be for the moment.” No matter how complicated we get, the basics never lose their power to restore us to sanity. Today, God, help me practice the concept of acceptance in my life. Help me accept myself, others, and my circumstances. Take me one step further, and help me feel grateful. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
Hey Everyone. @arielle-allen just joined the group. Please join me in welcoming them and introducing yourself here!
February 18 Being Right Recovery is not about being right; it’s about allowing ourselves to be who we are and accepting others as they are. That concept can be difficult for many of us if we have lived in systems that functioned on the “right-wrong” justice scale. The person who was right was okay; the person who was wrong was shamed. All value and worth may have depended on being right; to be wrong meant annihilation of self and self-esteem. In recovery, we are learning how to strive for love in our relationships, not superiority. Yes, we may need to make decisions about people’s behavior from time to time. If someone is hurting us, we need to stand up for ourselves. We have a responsibility to set boundaries and take care of ourselves. But we do not need to justify taking care of ourselves by condemning someone else. We can avoid the trap of focusing on others instead of ourselves. In recovery, we are learning that what we do needs to be right only for us. What others do is their business and needs to be right only for them. It’s tempting to rest in the superiority of being right and in analyzing other people’s motives and actions, but it’s more rewarding to look deeper. Today, I will remember that I don’t have to hide behind being right. I don’t have to justify what I want and need with saying something is “right” or “wrong.” I can let myself be who I am. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
February 19 Our Path I just spent several hours with someone from my group, and I feel like I’m losing my mind. This woman insisted that the only way I would make progress in my program was to go to her church and succumb to her religious rules. She pushed and insisted, and insisted and pushed. She’s been in the program so much longer than I have. I kept thinking that she must know what she’s talking about. But it didn’t feel right. And now I feel crazy, afraid, guilty, and ashamed. —Anonymous The spiritual path and growth promised to us by the Twelve Steps does not depend on any religious belief. They are not contingent upon any denomination or sect. They are not, as the traditions of Twelve Step programs state, affiliated with any religious denomination or organization. We do not have to allow anyone to badger us about religion in recovery. We do not have to allow people to make us feel ashamed, afraid, or less-than because we do not subscribe to their beliefs about religion. We do not have to let them do it to us in the name of God, love, or recovery. The spiritual experience we will find as a result of recovery and the Twelve Steps will be our own spiritual experience. It will be a relationship with God, a Higher Power as we understand God. Each of us must find our own spiritual path. Each of us must build our own relationship with God as we understand God. Each of us needs a Power greater than ourselves. These concepts are critical to recovery. So is the freedom to choose how to do that. Higher Power, help me know that I don’t have to allow anyone to shame or badger me into religious beliefs. If they confuse that with the spirituality available in recovery, help me give their issue back to them. Help me discover and develop my own spirituality, a path that works for me. Guide me, with Divine Wisdom, as I grow spiritually. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
February 22 Solving Problems I ask that You might help me work through all my problems, to Your Glory and Honor. —Alcoholics Anonymous Many of us lived in situations where it wasn’t okay to identify, have, or talk about problems. Denial became a way of life—our way of dealing with problems. In recovery, many of us still fear problems. We may spend more time reacting to a problem than we do to solving it. We miss the point; we miss the lesson; we miss the gift. Problems are a part of life. So are solutions. A problem doesn’t mean life is negative or horrible. Having a problem doesn’t mean a person is deficient. All people have problems to work through. In recovery, we learn to focus on solving our problems. First, we make certain the problem is our problem. If it isn’t, our problem is establishing boundaries. Then we seek the best solution. This may mean setting a goal, asking for help, gathering more information, taking an action, or letting go. Recovery does not mean immunity or exemption from problems; recovery means learning to face and solve problems, knowing they will appear regularly. We can trust our ability to solve problems, and know we’re not doing it alone. Having problems does not mean our Higher Power is picking on us. Some problems are part of life; others are ours to solve, and we’ll grow in necessary ways in the process. Face and solve today’s problems. Don’t worry needlessly about tomorrow’s problems, because when they appear, we’ll have the resources necessary to solve them. Facing and solving problems—working through problems with help from a Higher Power—means we’re living and growing and reaping benefits. God, help me face and solve my problems today. Help me do my part and let the rest go. I can learn to be a problem-solver. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
February 23 Strength We don’t always have to be strong to be strong. Sometimes, our strength is expressed in being vulnerable. Sometimes, we need to fall apart to regroup and stay on track. We all have days when we cannot push any harder, cannot hold back self-doubt, cannot stop focusing on fear, cannot be strong. There are days when we cannot focus on being responsible. Occasionally, we don’t want to get out of our pajamas. Sometimes, we cry in front of people. We expose our tiredness, irritability, or anger. Those days are okay. They are just okay. Part of taking care of ourselves means we give ourselves permission to “fall apart” when we need to. We do not have to be perpetual towers of strength. We are strong. We have proven that. Our strength will continue if we allow ourselves the courage to feel scared, weak, and vulnerable when we need to experience those feelings. Today, God, help me to know that it is okay to allow myself to be human. Help me not to feel guilty or punish myself when I need to “fall apart.” Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
February 24 Recognizing Feelings Experiencing feelings can be a challenge if we’ve had no previous experience or permission to do that. Learning to identify what we’re feeling is a challenge we can meet, but we will not become experts overnight. Nor do we have to deal with our feelings perfectly. Here are some ideas that might be helpful as you learn to recognize and deal with feelings. Take out a sheet of paper. On the top of it write, “If it was okay to feel whatever I’m feeling, and I wouldn’t be judged as bad or wrong, what would I be feeling?” Then write whatever comes to mind. You can also use the favorite standby of many people in discovering their feelings: writing or journaling. You can keep a diary, write letters you don’t intend to send, or just scribble thoughts onto a note pad. Watch and listen to yourself as an objective third person might. Listen to your tone of voice and the words you use. What do you hear? Sadness, fear, anger, happiness? What is your body telling you? Is it tense and rigid with anger? Running with fear? Heavy with sadness and grief? Dancing with joy? Talking to people in recovery helps too. Going to meetings helps. Once we feel safe, many of us find that we open up naturally and with ease to our feelings. We are on a continual treasure hunt in recovery. One of the treasures we’re seeking is the emotional part of ourselves. We don’t have to do it perfectly. We need only be honest, open, and willing to try. Our emotions are there waiting to share themselves with us. Today, I will watch myself and listen to myself as I go through my day. I will not judge myself for what I’m feeling; I will accept myself. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
February 25 Accepting Imperfection “Why do I do this to myself?” asked a woman who wanted to lose weight. “I went to my support group feeling so guilty and ashamed because I ate half a cookie that wasn’t on the diet. I found out that everyone cheats a little, and some people cheat a lot. I felt so ashamed before I came to the group, as though I were the only one not doing my diet perfectly. Now I know that I’m dieting as well as most, and better than some.” Why do we do this to ourselves? I’m not talking strictly about dieting; I’m talking about life. Why do we punish ourselves by thinking that we’re inferior while believing that others are perfect—whether in relationships, recovery, or a specific task? Whether we’re judging ourselves or others, it’s two sides of the same coin: perfection. Neither expectation is valid. It is far more accurate and beneficial to tell ourselves that who we are is okay and what we are doing is good enough. That doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes that need correcting; doesn’t mean we won’t get off track from time to time; doesn’t mean we can’t improve. It means with all our mistakes and wandering, we’re basically on course. Encouraging and approving of ourselves is how we help ourselves stay on track. Today, I will love and encourage myself. I will tell myself that what I’m doing is good enough, and I’ll let myself enjoy that feeling. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
February 26 Twelve Step Programs I was furious when I found myself at my first Al-Anon meeting. It seemed so unfair that he had the problem and I had to go to a meeting. But by that time, I had nowhere left in the world to go with my pain. Now, I’m grateful for Al-Anon and my codependency recovery. Al-Anon keeps me on track; recovery has given me a life. —Anonymous There are many Twelve Step programs for codependents: Al-Anon, Adult Children of Alcoholics, CoDa, Families Anonymous, Nar-Anon, and more. We have many choices about which kind of group is right for us and which particular group in that category meets our needs. Twelve Step groups for codependents are free, anonymous, and available in most communities. If there is not one that is right for us, we can start one. Twelve Step groups for codependents are not about how we can help the other person; they’re about how we can help ourselves grow and change. They can help us accept and deal with the ways codependency has affected us. They can help us get on track and stay there. There is magic in Twelve Step programs. There is healing power in connecting with other recovering people. We access this healing power by working the Steps and by allowing them to work on us. The Twelve Steps are a formula for healing. How long do we have to go to meetings? We go until we “get the program.” We go until the program “gets us.” Then we keep on going—and growing. Selecting a group and then attending regularly are important ways we can begin and continue to take care of ourselves. Actively participating in our recovery program by working the Steps is another. I will be open to the healing power available to me from the Twelve Steps and a recovery program. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 1 Letting Go of Anger In recovery, we often discuss anger objectively. Yes, we reason, it’s an emotion we’re all prone to experience. Yes, the goal in recovery is to be free of resentment and anger. Yes, it’s okay to feel angry, we agree. Well, maybe…. Anger is a powerful and sometimes frightening emotion. It’s also a beneficial one if it’s not allowed to harden into resentment or used as a battering ram to punish or abuse people. Anger is a warning signal. It points to problems. Sometimes, it signals problems we need to solve. Sometimes, it points to boundaries we need to set. Sometimes, it’s the final burst of energy before letting go, or acceptance, settles in. And, sometimes, anger just is. It doesn’t have to be justified. It usually can’t be confined to a tidy package. And it need not cause us to stifle ourselves or our energy. We don’t have to feel guilty whenever we experience anger. We don’t have to feel guilty. Breathe deeply. We can shamelessly feel all our feelings, including anger, and still take responsibility for our behaviors. I will feel and release any angry feelings I have today. I can do that appropriately and safely. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 2 Feelings on the Job I’m furious about my job. Another man got a promotion that I believe I deserve. I’m so mad I feel like quitting. Now my wife says I should deal with my feelings. What good will that do? He still got the promotion. —Anonymous Our feelings at work are as important as our feelings in any other area of our life. Feelings are feelings—and wherever we incur them, dealing with them is what helps us move forward and grow. Not acknowledging our feelings is what keeps us stuck and gives us stomachaches, headaches, and heartburn. Yes, it can be a challenge to deal with feelings on the job. Sometimes, things can appear useless. One of our favorite tricks to avoid dealing with feelings is telling ourselves it’s useless. We want to give careful consideration to how we deal with our feelings on our job. It may be appropriate to take our intense feelings to someone not connected to our workplace and sort through them in a safe way. Once we’ve experienced the intensity of the feelings, we can figure out what we need to do to take care of ourselves on the job. Sometimes, as in any area of our life, feelings are to be felt and accepted. Sometimes, they are pointing to a problem in us, or a problem we need to resolve with someone else. Sometimes, our feelings are helping to point us in a direction. Sometimes, they’re connected to a message, or a fear: I’ll never be successful.… I’ll never get what I want…. I’m not good enough…. Sometimes, the solution is a spiritual approach or remedy. Remember, whenever we bring a spiritual approach to any area of our life, we get the benefit. We won’t know what the lesson is until we summon the courage to stand still and deal with our feelings. Today, I will consider my feelings at work as important as my feelings at home or anywhere else. I will find an appropriate way to deal with them. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 3 Accepting Ourselves While driving one day, a woman’s attention focused on the license plate of the car ahead. The license read: “B-WHO-UR.” How can I? she thought. I don’t know who I am! Some of us may have felt confused when people encouraged us to be ourselves. How could we know ourselves, or be who we are, when, for years, many of us submerged ourselves in the needs of others? We do have a self. We’re discovering more about ourselves daily. We’re learning we’re deserving of love. We’re learning to accept ourselves, as we are for the present moment—to accept our feelings, thoughts, flaws, wants, needs, and desires. If our thoughts or feelings are confused, we accept that too. To be who we are means we accept our past—our history—exactly as is. To be ourselves means we are entitled to our opinions and beliefs—for the present moment and subject to change. We accept our limitations and our strengths. To be who we are means we accept our physical selves, as well as our mental, emotional, and spiritual selves, for now. Being who we are in recovery means we take that acceptance one step further. We can appreciate ourselves and our history. Being who we are, loving and accepting ourselves, is not a limiting attitude. Accepting and loving ourselves is how we enable growth and change. Today, I will be who I am. If I’m not yet certain who I am, I will affirm that I have a right to that exciting discovery. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 4 Higher Power as a Source I’ve learned I can take care of myself, and what I can’t do, God will do for me. —Al-Anon member God, a Higher Power as we understand Him, is our source of guidance and positive change. This doesn’t mean we’re not responsible for ourselves. We are. But we aren’t in this alone. Recovery is not a do-it-yourself project. We don’t have to become overly concerned about changing ourselves. We can do our part, relax, and trust that the changes we’ll experience will be right for us. Recovery means we don’t have to look to other people as our source to meet our needs. They can help us, but they are not the source. As we learn to trust the recovery process, we start to understand that a relationship with our Higher Power is no substitute for relationships with people. We don’t need to hide behind religious beliefs or use our relationship with a Higher Power as an excuse to stop taking responsibility for ourselves and taking care of ourselves in relationships. But we can tap into and trust a Power greater than ourselves for the energy, wisdom, and guidance to do that. Today, I will look to my Higher Power as the source for all my needs, including the changes I want to make in my recovery. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 5 Be Who You Are When I meet people or get in a new relationship, I start putting all these repressive restrictions on myself. I can’t have my feelings. Can’t have my wants and needs. Can’t have my history. Can’t do the things I want, feel the feelings I’m feeling, or say what I need to say. I turn into this repressed, perfectionistic robot, instead of being who I am: Me. —Anonymous Sometimes, our instinctive reaction to being in a new situation is: Don’t be yourself. Who else can we be? Who else would you want to be? We don’t need to be anyone else. The greatest gift we can bring to any relationship wherever we go is being who we are. We may think others won’t like us. We may be afraid that if we just relax and be ourselves, the other person will go away or shame us. We may worry about what the other person will think. But, when we relax and accept ourselves, people often feel much better being around us than when we are rigid and repressed. We’re fun to be around. If others don’t appreciate us, do we really want to be around them? Do we need to let the opinions of others control us and our behavior? Giving ourselves permission to be who we are can have a healing influence on our relationships. The tone relaxes. We relax. The other person relaxes. Then everybody feels a little less shame, because they have learned the truth. Who we are is all we can be, all we’re meant to be, and it’s enough. It’s fine. Our opinion of ourselves is truly all that matters. And we can give ourselves all the approval we want and need. Today, I will relax and be who I am in my relationships. I will do this not in a demeaning or inappropriate way, but in a way that shows I accept myself and value who I am. Help me, God, let go of my fears about being myself. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 8 Surrender Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. —Step Three of Al-Anon Surrendering to a Power greater than ourselves is how we become empowered. We become empowered in a new, better, more effective way than we believed possible. Doors open. Windows open. Possibilities occur. Our energy becomes channeled, at last, in areas and ways that work for us. We become in tune with the Plan for our life and our place in the Universe. And there is a Plan and Place for us. We shall see that. We shall know that. The Universe will open up and make a special place for us, with all that we need provided. It will be good. Understand that it is good, now. Learning to own our power will come, if we are open to it. We do not need to stop at powerlessness and helplessness. That is a temporary place where we re-evaluate where we have been trying to have power when we have none. Once we surrender, it is time to become empowered. Let the power come, naturally. It is there. It is ours. Today, I will be open to understanding what it means to own my power. I will accept powerlessness where I have no power; I will also accept the power that is mine to receive. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 9 Taking Care of Ourselves We cannot simultaneously set a boundary and take care of another person’s feelings. It’s impossible; the two acts contradict. What a tremendous asset to have compassion for others! How difficult that same quality can make it to set boundaries! It’s good to care about other people and their feelings; it’s essential to care about ourselves too. Sometimes, to take good care of ourselves, we need to make a choice. Some of us live with a deeply ingrained message from our family, or from church, about never hurting other people’s feelings. We can replace that message with a new one, one that says it’s not okay to hurt ourselves. Sometimes, when we take care of ourselves, others will react with hurt feelings. That’s okay. We will learn, grow, and benefit by the experience; they will too. The most powerful and positive impact we can have on other people is accomplished by taking responsibility for ourselves, and allowing others to be responsible for themselves. Caring works. Caretaking doesn’t. We can learn to walk the line between the two. Today, I will set the limits I need to set. I will let go of my need to take care of other people’s feelings and instead take care of my own. I will give myself permission to take care of myself, knowing it’s the best thing I can do for myself and others. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 10 Living with Families I was forty-six years old before I finally admitted to myself and someone else that my grandfather always managed to make me feel guilty, angry, and controlled. —Anonymous We may love and care about our family very much. Family members may love and care about us. But interacting with some members may be a real trigger to our codependency—sometimes to a deep abyss of shame, rage, anger, guilt, and helplessness. It can be difficult to achieve detachment, on an emotional level, with certain family members. It can be difficult to separate their issues from ours. It can be difficult to own our power. Difficult, but not impossible. The first step is awareness and acceptance—simple acknowledgment, without guilt, of our feelings and thoughts. We do not have to blame our family members. We do not have to blame or shame ourselves. Acceptance is the goal—acceptance and freedom to choose what we want and need to do to take care of ourselves with that person. We can become free of the patterns of the past. We are recovering. Progress is the goal. Today, Higher Power, help me be patient with myself as I learn how to apply recovery behaviors with family members. Help me strive today for awareness and acceptance. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 12 Timing If we could untangle the mysteries of life and unravel the energies which run through the world; if we could evaluate correctly the significance of passing events; if we could measure the struggles, dilemmas, and aspirations of mankind, we could find that nothing is born out of time. Everything comes at its appointed moment. —Joseph R. Sizoo Timing can be frustrating. We can wait and wait for something to happen, and it seems to be forever until it comes to pass. Or, suddenly, an event or circumstance is thrust upon us, catching us by surprise. Believing that things happen too slowly or too quickly is an illusion. Timing is perfect. Today, I will trust and work with Divine Order. I will accept the timing in my life today and in my past as being perfect. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
Hey Everyone. @norma-brown just joined the group. Please join me in welcoming them and introducing yourself here!
March 13 Clarity and Direction In spite of our best efforts to work our programs and lean on God’s guidance, we sometimes don’t understand what’s going on in our life. We trust, wait, pray, listen to people, listen to ourselves, and the answer still does not come. During those times, we need to understand that we are right where we need to be, even though that place may feel awkward and uncomfortable. Our life does have purpose and direction. We are being changed, healed, and transformed at levels deeper than we can imagine. Good things, beyond our capacity to imagine, are being prepared and brought to us. We are being led and guided. We can become peaceful. We do not have to act in haste or urgency just to relieve our discomfort, just to get an answer. We can wait until our mind is peaceful. We can wait for clear direction. Clarity will come. The answer will come, and it will be good for us and those around us. Today, God, help me know I am being guided into what’s good about life, especially when I feel confused and without direction. Help me trust enough to wait until my mind and vision are clear and consistent. Help me know that clarity will come. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 15 Removing the Victim “Don’t others see how much I’m hurting?” “Can’t they see I need help?” “Don’t they care?” The issue is not whether others see or care. The issue is whether we see and care about ourselves. Often, when we are pointing a finger at others, waiting for them to have compassion for us, it’s because we have not fully accepted our pain. We have not yet reached that point of caring about ourselves. We are hoping for an awareness in another that we have not yet had. It is our job to have compassion for ourselves. When we do, we have taken the first step toward removing ourselves as victims. We are on the way to self-responsibility, self-care, and change. Today, I will not wait for others to see and care; I will take responsibility for being aware of my pain and problems, and caring about myself. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 16 Positive Energy It’s so easy to look around and notice what’s wrong. It takes practice to see what’s right. Many of us have lived around negativity for years. We’ve become skilled at labeling what’s wrong with other people, our life, our work, our day, our relationships, ourselves, our conduct, our recovery. We want to be realistic, and our goal is to identify and accept reality. However, this is often not our intent when we practice negativity. The purpose of negativity is usually annihilation. Negative thinking empowers the problem. It takes us out of harmony. Negative energy sabotages and destroys. It has a powerful life of its own. So does positive energy. Each day, we can ask what’s right, what’s good—about other people, our life, our work, our day, our relationships, ourselves, our conduct, our recovery. Positive energy heals, conducts love, and transforms. Choose positive energy. Today, God help me let go of negativity. Transform my beliefs and thinking, at the core, from negative to positive. Put me in harmony with the good. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 17 Empowering You can think. You can feel. You can solve your problems. You can take care of yourself. Those words have often benefited me more than the most profound and elaborate advice. How easy it is to fall into the trap of doubting ourselves and others. When someone tells us about a problem, what is our reaction? Do we believe we need to solve it for the person? Do we believe that that person’s future rests on our ability to advise him or her? That’s standing on shaky ground—not the stuff of which recovery is made. When someone is struggling through a feeling, or a morass of feelings, what is our reaction? That the person will never survive that experience? That it’s not okay for someone to feel? That he or she will never get through this intact? When a person is faced with the task of assuming responsibility for their life and behaviors, what is our response? That the person can’t do that? I must do it myself to save him or her from dissipating into ashes? From crumbling? From failing? What is our reaction to ourselves when we encounter a problem, a feeling, or when we face the prospect of assuming responsibility for ourselves? Do we believe in ourselves and others? Do we give power to people—including ourselves—and their abilities? Or do we give the power to the problem, the feeling, or the irresponsibility? We can learn to check ourselves out. We can learn to think, and consider our response, before we respond. “I’m sorry you’re having that problem. I know you can figure out a solution. Sounds like you’ve got some feelings going on. I know you’ll work through them and come out on the other side.” Each of us is responsible for ourselves. That does not mean we don’t care. It does not mean a cold, calculated withdrawal of our support from others. It means we learn to love and support people in ways that work. It means we learn to love and support ourselves in ways that work. It means that we connect with friends who love and support us in ways that work. To believe in people, to believe in each person’s inherent ability to think, feel, solve problems, and take care of themselves is a great gift we can give and receive from others. Today, I will strive to give and receive support that is pure and empowering. I will work at believing in myself and others—and our mutual abilities to be competent at dealing with feelings, solving problems, and taking responsibility for ourselves. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 19 Staying Out of the Middle “I don’t want to get in the middle, but…” is a sign that we may have just stepped into the middle. We do not have to get caught in the middle of other people’s issues, problems, or communication. We can let others take responsibility for themselves in their relationships. We can let them work out their issues with each other. Being a peacemaker does not mean we get in the middle. We are bearers of peace by staying peaceful ourselves and not harboring turmoil. We are peacemakers by not causing the extra chaos created when we get in the middle of other people’s affairs and relationships. Don’t get in the middle unless you want to be there. Today, I will refuse to accept any invitations to jump in the middle of others’ affairs, issues, and relationships. I will trust others to work out their own affairs, including the ideas and feelings they want to communicate to each other. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 22 Letting Go of Being a Victim It’s okay to have a good day. Really. It’s okay to be doing okay and to feel like our life is manageable and on track. Many of us have learned, as part of our survival behaviors, that the way to get the attention and approval we want is to be victims. If life is awful, too difficult, unmanageable, too hard, unfair, then others will accept, like, and approve of us, we think. We may have learned this from living and associating with people who also learned to survive by being a victim. We are not victims. We do not need to be victimized. We do not need to be helpless and out of control to get the attention and love we desire. In fact, the kind of love we are seeking cannot be obtained that way. We can get the love we really want and need by only owning our power. We learn that we can stand on our own two feet, even though it sometimes feels good to lean a little. We learn that the people we are leaning on are not holding us up. They are standing next to us. We all have bad days—days when things are not going the way we’d like, days when we have feelings of sadness and fear. But we can deal with our bad days and darker feelings in ways that reflect self-responsibility rather than victimization. It’s okay to have a good day too. We might not have as much to talk about, but we’ll have more to enjoy. God, help me let go of my need to be a victim. Help me let go of my belief that to be loved and get attention I need to be a victim. Surround me with people who love me when I own my power. Help me start having good days and enjoying them. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
𝕀𝕋𝕊 𝕆𝕂𝔸𝕐 🤍 𝔽ℝ𝔼𝔼𝔻𝕆𝕄, 𝕊𝔼ℝ𝔼ℕ𝕀𝕋𝕐 𝔸ℕ𝔻 𝕋𝔸𝕂𝕀ℕ𝔾 𝔹𝔸ℂ𝕂 𝕐𝕆𝕌ℝ ℙ𝕆𝕎𝔼ℝ. March 23 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, 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. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 24 Appreciating Ourselves We are the greatest thing 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 who 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. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 25 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. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 26 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. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
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March 29 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 bloom. 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. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 30 Experiment 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, 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. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
March 31 Finances 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. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
April 1 Going Easy Go easy. You may have to push forward, but you don’t have to push so hard. Go in gentleness, go in peace. Do not be in so much of a hurry. At no day, no hour, no time are you required to do more than you can do in peace. Frantic behaviors and urgency are not the foundation for our new way of life. Do not be in too much of a hurry to begin. Begin, but do not force the beginning if it is not time. Beginnings will arrive soon enough. Enjoy and relish middles, the heart of the matter. Do not be in too much of a hurry to finish. You may be almost done, but enjoy the final moments. Give yourself fully to those moments so that you may give and get all there is. Let the pace flow naturally. Move forward. Start. Keep moving forward. Do it gently, though. Do it in peace. Cherish each moment. Today, God, help me focus on a peaceful pace rather than a harried one. I will keep moving forward gently, not frantically. Help me let go of my need to be anxious, upset, and harried. Help me replace it with a need to be at peace and in harmony. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
April 2 Facing Our Darker Side Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. —Step Four of Al-Anon By the time we get to the Fourth of the Twelve Steps, we are ready to face our darker side, the side that prevents us from loving ourselves and others, from letting others love us, and from enjoying life. The purpose of Step Four is not to make ourselves feel worse; our purpose is to begin to remove our blocks to joy and love. We look for fears, anger, hurt, and shame from past events—buried feelings that may be affecting our life today. We search for subconscious beliefs about ourselves and others that may be interfering with the quality of our relationships. These beliefs say: I’m not lovable…. I’m a burden to those around me…. People can’t be trusted…. I can’t be trusted…. I don’t deserve to be happy and successful…. Life isn’t worth living. We look at our behaviors and patterns with an eye toward discerning the self-defeating ones. With love and compassion for ourselves, we try to unearth all our guilt—earned and unearned—and expose it to the light. We perform this examination without fear of what we shall find, because this soul-searching can cleanse us and help us feel better about ourselves than we ever dreamt possible. God, help me search out the blocks and barriers within myself. Bring what I need to know into my conscious mind, so I can be free of it. Show me what I need to know about myself. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
𝕀 𝕖𝕟𝕔𝕠𝕦𝕣𝕒𝕘𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕥𝕠 𝕣𝕖𝕒𝕕 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕤 𝕒 𝕗𝕖𝕨 𝕥𝕚𝕞𝕖𝕤 🤍
April 5 Detaching in Love Detachment is a key to recovery from codependency. It strengthens our healthy relationships—the ones that we want to grow and flourish. It benefits our difficult relationships—the ones that are teaching us to cope. It helps us! Detachment is not something we do once. It’s a daily behavior in recovery. We learn it when we’re beginning our recovery from codependency and adult children issues. And we continue to practice it along the way as we grow and change, and as our relationships grow and change. We learn to let go of people we love, people we like, and those we don’t particularly care for. We separate ourselves, and our process, from others and their process. We relinquish our tight hold and our need to control in our relationships. We take responsibility for ourselves; we allow others to do the same. We detach with the understanding that life is unfolding exactly as it needs to, for others and ourselves. The way life unfolds is good, even when it hurts. And ultimately, we can benefit from even the most difficult situations. We do this with the understanding that a Power greater than ourselves is in charge, and all is well. Today, I will apply the concept of detachment, to the best of my ability, in my relationships. If I can’t let go completely, I’ll try to “hang on loose.” Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
April 6 Patience How sick and tired we may become of people telling us to be patient or to learn patience. How frustrating it can be to want to finally have something, or to move forward, and then not have that happen. How irritating to have someone tell us to wait while our needs have not been met and we’re in the midst of anxiety, frustration, and inaction. Do not confuse the suggestion to be patient with the old rule about not having feelings. Being patient does not mean we go through the sometimes grueling process of life and recovery without having feelings! Feel the frustration. Feel the impatience. Get as angry as you need to about not having your needs met. Feel your fear. Controlling our feelings will not control the process! We find patience by surrendering to our feelings. Patience cannot be forced. It is a gift, one that closely follows acceptance and gratitude. When we work through our feelings to fully accept who we are and what we have, we will be ready to be and have more. Today, I will let myself have my feelings while I practice patience. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
April 7 Those Old-Time Feelings I still have bad days. But that’s okay. I used to have bad years. —Anonymous Sometimes, the old feelings creep back in. We may feel fearful, ashamed, and hopeless. We may feel not good enough, unlovable, victimized, helpless, and resentful about it all. This is codependency, a condition some describe as “soul-sickness.” Many of us felt this way when we began recovery. Sometimes, we slip back into these feelings after we’ve begun recovery. Sometimes there’s a reason. An event may trigger these reactions, such as ending a relationship, stress, problems on the job, at home, or in friendships. Times of change can trigger these reactions. So can physical illness. Sometimes, these feelings return for no reason. A return to the old feelings doesn’t mean we’re back to square one in our recovery. They do not mean we’ve failed at recovery. They do not mean we’re in for a long, painful session of feeling bad. They just are there. The solution is the same: practicing the basics. Some of the basics are loving and trusting our self, detachment, dealing with feelings, giving and receiving support in the recovery community, using our affirmations, and having fun. Another basic is working the Steps. Often, working the Steps is how we become enabled and empowered to practice the other basics, such as detachment and self-love. If the old feelings come back, know for certain there is a way out that will work. Today, if I find myself in the dark pit of codependency, I will work a Step to help myself climb out. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
April 8 Self-Care I don’t precisely know what you need to do to take care of yourself. But I know you can figure it out. —Beyond Codependency Rest when you’re tired. Take a drink of cold water when you’re thirsty. Call a friend when you’re lonely. Ask God to help when you feel overwhelmed. Many of us have learned how to deprive and neglect ourselves. Many of us have learned to push ourselves hard, when the problem is that we’re already pushed too hard. Many of us are afraid the work won’t get done if we rest when we’re tired. The work will get done; it will be done better than work that emerges from tiredness of soul and spirit. Nurtured, nourished people, who love themselves and care for themselves, are the delight of the Universe. They are well-timed, efficient, and Divinely led. Today, I will practice loving self-care. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
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April 9 Giving Learning to be a healthy giver can be a challenge. Many of us got caught up in compulsive giving—charitable acts motivated by uncharitable feelings of guilt, shame, obligation, pity, and moral superiority. We now understand that caretaking and compulsive giving don’t work. They backfire. Caretaking keeps us feeling victimized. Many of us gave too much, thinking we were doing things right; then we became confused because our life and relationships weren’t working. Many of us gave so much for so long, thinking we were doing God’s will; then in recovery, we refused to give, care, or love for a time. That’s okay. Perhaps we needed a rest. But healthy giving is part of healthy living. The goal in recovery is balance—caring that is motivated by a true desire to give, with an underlying attitude of respect for ourselves and others. The goal in recovery is to choose what we want to give, to whom, when, and how much. The goal in recovery is to give, and not feel victimized by our giving. Are we giving because we want to, because it’s our responsibility? Or are we giving because we feel obligated, guilty, ashamed, or superior? Are we giving because we feel afraid to say no? Are the ways we try to assist people helpful, or do they prevent others from facing their true responsibilities? Are we giving so that people will like us or feel obligated to us? Are we giving to prove we’re worthy? Or are we giving because we want to give and it feels right? Recovery includes a cycle of giving and receiving. It keeps healthy energy flowing among us, our Higher Power, and others. It takes time to learn how to give in healthy ways. It takes time to learn to receive. Be patient. Balance will come. God, please guide my giving and my motives today. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
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April 12 Letting Go of Fear Picture yourself swimming—floating—peacefully down a gentle stream. All you need to do is breathe, relax, and go with the flow. Suddenly, you become conscious of your situation. Frightened, overwhelmed with “what if’s?” your body tenses. You begin to thrash around, frantically looking for something to grab on to. You panic so hard you start to go under. Then you remember—you’re working too hard at this. You don’t need to panic. All you need to do is breathe, relax, and go with the flow. You won’t drown. Panic is our great enemy. We don’t need to become desperate. If overwhelming problems appear in our life, we need to stop struggling. We can tread water for a bit, until our equilibrium returns. Then we can go back to floating peacefully down the gentle stream. It is our stream. It is a safe stream. Our course has been charted. All is well. Today, I will relax, breathe, and go with the flow. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
April 13 Enjoyment One of the prohibitions many of us learned in childhood is the unspoken rule Don’t have fun and enjoy life. This rule creates martyrs—people who will not let themselves embrace the pleasures of day-to-day living. Many of us associated suffering with some sort of sainthood. Now, we associate it with codependency. We can go through the day making ourselves feel anxious, guilty, miserable, and deprived. Or we can allow ourselves to go through that same day feeling good. In recovery, we eventually learn the choice is ours. There is much to be enjoyed each day, and it is okay to feel good. We can let ourselves enjoy our tasks. We can learn to relax without guilt. We can even learn to have fun. Work at learning to have fun. Apply yourself with dedication to learning enjoyment. Work as hard at learning to have fun as you did at feeling miserable. Our work will pay off. Fun will become fun. Life will become worth living. And each day, we’ll find many pleasures to be enjoyed. Today, I will let myself enjoy life as I go through my day. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
April 14 Perfectionism Recovery from codependency is an individual process that necessitates making mistakes, struggling through problems, and facing tough issues. Expecting ourselves to be perfect slows this process; it puts us in a guilty and anxious state. Expecting others to be perfect is equally destructive; it makes others feel ashamed and may interfere with their growth. People are human and vulnerable, and that is wonderful. We can accept and cherish that idea. Expecting others to be perfect puts us in that codependent state of moral superiority. Expecting ourselves to be perfect makes us feel rigid and inferior. We can let go of both ideas. We do not need to go to the other extreme, tolerating anything people throw our way. We can still expect appropriate, responsible behavior from ourselves. But most of us can afford to loosen up a bit. And when we stop expecting others to be perfect, we may discover that they’re doing much better than we thought. When we stop expecting ourselves to be perfect, we’ll discover the beauty in ourselves. Today, I will practice tolerance, acceptance, and love of others as they are, and myself as I am. I will strive for that balance between expecting too much and expecting too little from others and myself. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
April 16 Letting Things Happen We do not have to work so hard at gaining our insights. Yes, we’re learning that painful and disappointing things happen, often for a reason and a higher purpose. Yes, these things often work out for good. But we don’t have to spend so much time and energy figuring out the purpose and plan for each detail of our life. That’s hypervigilance! Sometimes, the car doesn’t start. Sometimes, the dishwasher breaks. Sometimes, we catch a cold. Sometimes, we run out of hot water. Sometimes, we have a bad day. While it helps to achieve acceptance and gratitude for these irritating annoyances, we don’t have to process everything and figure out if it’s in the scheme of things. Solve the problem. Get the car repaired. Fix the dishwasher. Nurse yourself through the cold. Wait to take the shower until there’s hot water. Nurture yourself through your bad day. Tend to your responsibilities, and don’t take everything so personally! If we need to recognize a particular insight or awareness, we will be guided in that direction. Certainly, we want to watch for patterns. But often, the big insights and the significant processing happen naturally. We don’t have to question every occurrence to see how it fits into the Plan. The Plan—the awareness, the insight, the potential for personal growth—will reveal itself to us. Perhaps the lesson is to learn to solve our problems without always knowing their significance. Perhaps the lesson is to trust ourselves to live, and experience, life. Today, I will let things happen without worrying about the significance of each event. I will trust that this will bring about my growth faster than running around with a microscope. I will trust my lessons to reveal themselves in their own time. Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go. Find recovery resources at Hazelden.