daily meditation: being handed over to suffering

People who live close together can be sources of great sorrow for one another. When Jesus chose his twelve apostles, Judas was one of them. Judas is called a traitor. A traitor, according to the literal meaning of the Greek word for “betraying,” is someone who hands the other over to suffering.

The truth is that we all have something of the traitor in us because each of us hands our fellow human beings over to suffering somehow, somewhere, mostly without intending or even knowing it. Many children, even grown-up children, can experience deep anger toward their parents for having protected them too much or too little. When we are willing to confess that we often hand those we love over to suffering, even against our best intentions, we will be more ready to forgive those who, mostly against their will, are the causes of our pain.

daily reflection: freedom from “king alcohol”

. . . let us not suppose even for an instant that we are not under constraint. . . . Our former tyrant, King Alcohol, always stands ready again to clutch us to him. Therefore, freedom from alcohol is the great “must” that has to be achieved, else we go mad or die.

— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 134

When drinking, I lived in spiritual, emotional, and sometimes, physical confinement. I had constructed my prison with bars of self-will and self-indulgence, from which I could not escape. Occasional dry spells that seemed to promise freedom would turn out to be little more than hopes of a reprieve. True escape required a willingness to follow whatever right actions were needed to turn the lock. With that willingness and action, both the lock and the bars themselves opened for me. Continued willingness and action keep me free—in a kind of extended daily probation—that need never end.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.