Recovery Meditations ~ Helping Others ~ One Day at a Time ~ May 2, 2011


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If I can stop one heart from breaking, I

shall not live in vain If I can ease one

life the aching or cool one pain or help

one fainting Robin unto his nest again I

shall not live in vain

Emily Dickinson

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Somewhere along the way I found myself

to be a caretaker. Injustices, pain,

discrimination, bullying; all these

things affected me deeply. I carried it

too far. It reached a point where I

truly believe I began taking better care

of others than I did myself. Was this

ego? Codependency? Altruism? Or was this

a guiltless way I found to deflect my

own problems, pain, injustices and


When I was doing my first 4th Step

inventory, I learned something very

important. As my sponsor read over one

"bad thing" I had done after another she

cautioned me to take a broader look at

myself. Finally, she made me do my

entire inventory over and for every 5th

character defect or offense to someone,

I was required to write something good

about myself. She explained that an

inventory is never meant to be focused

on just the bad ... but the good

also. After all, when a store takes

inventory on its products, it counts

bent cans of beans as well as the

perfect cans of beans and crushed boxes

of cereal as well as the perfect ones.

This helped me to see that my life's

purpose was not just to help others but

also to nurture me when my heart was

breaking, to make my own life good and

to have a nest for myself that was safe

and serene. After working the Steps, I

know that I'm not living my life in vain

and I still want to help others as much

as I possibly can, but not to the

detriment of myself ... and certainly

not to keep me from looking at my own

life and my own problems realistically.


May I help others who are less fortunate

than I find their way. And let me also

make my own nest as comfortable as it

can be.