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  • Writer's pictureSusan Lawson

The Value of Daily Readings

I have practiced the discipline of daily readings for about nine years. What I include in the readings is varied, and changes sometimes according to a season I might be experiencing. No matter what the season, gleaning encouragement and wisdom from powerful, edifying words has saved my life, literally. Whether it be the bible, daily recovery readings, devotions- both secular and faith based, etc., words hold immense power. They are my first and most frequently used tool to maintain what is often referred to as emotional sobriety.

I believe that emotional sobriety is less about the quality of the feeling ("good" or "bad") and more about the general ability to feel one's feelings. Being restored to sanity isn't about getting the brass ring—or cash and prizes—or being "happy, joyous, and free" all the time, but it is about being in the present moment, whatever it happens to look like. What are you experiencing right now? And how about now? Can you be present to all of your feelings without any one of them defining you?
Ingrid Clayton, Ph,D (Psychology Today July 21, 2011)

Some of this morning's readings spoke directly to this point and I feel compelled to share them here.

What happened today? How did you feel about it?
Just like all those stuffed feelings from childhood that we could not deal with then, any feelings that we repress or deny today don't go away. They linger in our energy field until we give them their due. Sometimes these repressed feelings block our view of the truth.
For many of us, resisting our feelings is an ancient pattern and a habitual way of life. Take your time to debrief from your day, but don't just say what you did and what you like. Say how you felt about each thing that occurred.
You might make a discovery that surprises even you. You don't necessarily have to tell the other person how you feel, but you might. For certain, you at least need to tell yourself.
Today is just a simple reminder of something you already know. Be aware each day of what happens. And be aware of how you feel.
God, help me remember that it's okay to be who I am and feel what I feel, no matter what those feelings are. Remind me when I believe my feelings are a nuisance that they 're the key to my power.
Melody Beattie More (Language of Letting Go, October 26)

I wonder, is there someone reading this that these words might have spoken to as directly and deeply as they do me? I share this only as an example of the readings that shape my days. There are many others to choose from.

It might seem like too small a thing to really be of much help in our struggle to maintain emotional (balance) sobriety, but the small things add up to the big things.

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