Meditations: The Gift of Sobriety

By Michael Lyding

What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 85


Recovery is a gift, received and used – if we choose. It is helpful to reflect on what kind of gift sobriety is. To do this, let’s look at two different gifts, each enjoyable in their own right.

Consider the gift of a candle. It smells nice, looks pretty and complements the room. We smile when we receive it. After a while, we display it unlit or put it away for a special occasion. The candle is not enjoyed to its fullest.

Now, consider the gift of flowers. The flowers smell good, look pretty and complement the room. Here comes the difference. When we receive flowers, we stop everything we are doing. We find a vase and fill it with water. We unwrap the flowers and arrange them in the vase. Staying in the present moment, we immediately display the gift. The flowers won’t last long; but if we are to enjoy them, we must do so now.

Many people treat the gift of recovery like a candle – unlit and tucked away, not fully appreciated. Twelve Steppers who treat the gift of recovery like a gift of flowers enjoy the gift fully in the moment. We are told in recovery that we will receive another gift tomorrow – more flowers – so we can and should enjoy today’s gift to the fullest.

Is my recovery a candle or a bouquet of flowers?

Mike Lyding was born in 1945 in Phoenix, AZ. Since becoming sober in December 1993, he has been drawn to prayer and meditation. While meditating at age 58, he learned he had a desire to write. So far, the result has been two daily meditation books primarily for the recovering communities, Grateful, Not Smug (Daily Recovery Meditiations) (2006) and Gratitude a Verb (2009).

1 Comment on Meditations: The Gift of Sobriety

  1. I love this meditation series. Meditation is a gift of sobriety. I thought that the book review of “Sitting in Pictures” would also be a related article becasue it is such a different type of recovery meditation book. Vision meditations not usally mentioned elsewhere. Thank you, In Recovery, for making recovery stronger.

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