“Are you a taker, or a giver?”

The addict is a taker.  The addict has no other choice but to take.

This may sound harsh and a little judgmental, but it is the nature of addiction to take – not give.  There is only one thing that the addict cares about:  The addiction.

The addict has nothing to give.  It continues to use up all its resources trying to keep the addiction well fed.  Nothing else matters.  Keeping this hungry beast fed is more important than family, or friends, more important than keeping a good job, staying healthy, or even life itself.

But no matter how hard the addict tries, the addiction is never satisfied.  It wants, it wants, it wants.  Imagine a hole the size of the Grand Canyon; that is your addiction.  You could spend the rest of your life trying to fill it.  And die trying.

In recovery, we learn to be givers.  That is our natural state, and a result of our new found freedom.  No longer are we looking out for number one.

After a spiritual awakening, an addict is now able to give back because he/she wants to do so.  Love’s power takes over and the heart is now peaceful and quiet.

Step twelve is the final work of recovery.  How is your recovery?

Are you a taker, or a giver?

“Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?”

I never thought I wanted  to be right; I just knew I was!

I had all kinds of opinions about others based on their appearance, what school they attended, whether or not they went to church, their nationality… (and on and on.)

But the older I get, the more I realize I have a lot of opinions of myself.  Call them beliefs.  Or convictions.  There are things about myself that I have decided are true.

“I am a good writer.  I am a lousy speaker.  I am an okay singer.  I suck at math.  I am an addict”

Unfortunately, many of them are not true at all.  But I am convinced that these long-held beliefs accurately reflect who I am and what I am capable of…

I’m willing to bet that you are just like me.  How do I know?  Because you (and I) are the product of our own thoughts and feelings – beliefs – that started forming the day we were born.

When you were a child, you relied on the opinions of others (teachers, parents, coaches) to form an opinion of yourself.  What you experienced in life often confirmed what you believed about yourself.  And you constructed a set of beliefs that gave you a sense of self – something on which you could base your decisions.

If you are like me, (and I know you are), these beliefs about yourself are hard-wired into your psyche.  There’s no one you know who is going to change those opinions and long-held beliefs that you have of yourself.

Can I suggest something?  Why don’t you start with the most limiting belief you have of yourself, and turn it around?  Start acting and speaking to others as if the exact opposite is true.

What do you have to lose?  Who knows?  Maybe you’ve been wrong about yourself all these years.  Maybe you’re not the person you think you are!

Do you want to be right?  Or do you want to be happy?

“The best time to act – in fact, the only time – is now”

I used to struggle with the idea that I must live “in the moment.”

I used to think, “Surely, there must be a mental perspective, or some kind of emotional posturing I could discover that would alter my life forever.”

But all this thinking just left me wondering.  And I got confused trying to sort out such an ‘abstract’ idea.  I believe the difficulty lay in the mistaken notion that ‘living in the moment’ is all very abstract.

But understanding what “in the moment” means, is really not as abstract as I once thought.  In fact, it’s very concrete, and completely practical!

Living ‘in the moment’ is hearing the voice of reason tell me to get to a meeting – and agreeing to do so right away.  Living ‘in the moment’ means calling my sponsor just as soon as I feel tempted to act out – and no later.

Once I make up my mind to do something, or change something, I need to act – immediately.  Living ‘in the moment’ puts an end to procrastination!

For you, it could mean a number of things – letting go of fear, giving up resentment, making a phone call, or saying a prayer – that requires your immediate attention.

Most of the time, you only have this present moment in which to decide, and to act.  The best time – in fact, the only time – to make a real change in your life is in the moment you see the need for it.

He or she who hesitates always gets lost in a hundred reasons why tomorrow is a better day to start.

“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free”

What is freedom?  Do you really know?

 Freedom is something you gave up in order to get something you thought you wanted.  Freedom is what you gave up in order to protect yourself from that which you felt threatened.

 Freedom is truth – the truth of who you are.  You were born free.  Freedom is your natural state. 

 So, why should you want freedom?  It’s not something you can attain; rather, it is something you must claim.  Freedom is not out there in the big, bad world.  You don’t need to travel around the globe in search of it.

 There is a place in every one of us that is free – free from the words we use to hurt others, the decisions we make that lead nowhere, or the actions we take that are futile and destructive.  Free from the insanity that leads us to repeat the same things over and over – expecting a different result!

 This place is hidden well beneath the noise and clamor of our everyday lives.  Beneath the mind chatter, the emotional drama, and the stressful demands of the day.

 Believe it or not, it lies below the curses we mutter as we’re trying to get to work on time.  And it’s buried under the surface of our painful reactions to the insensitive and insolent comments made by others with whom we rub shoulders.

 I’m talking about a quiet place where there is freedom from compulsion (acting compulsively); freedom from obsession (thinking obsessively); freedom to make wise decisions that move you forward, instead of holding you back.

 This freedom is the same freedom promised to those who “know the truth.” 

 And what is the truth? 

 The truth is simply ‘what is.’  The truth is who you truly are

 How do you claim your freedom?  By letting go of who you thought you were, and  accepting who you are… truthfully!