Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Aug. 23, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

You had better live your best and act your best and think your best today, for today is the sure preparation for tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that follow.
 -- Harriet Martineau


The word "sanity" is derived from the Latin word sanitas, which means "health." In our group, we think of health as wholeness of mind, body, and spirit.

One way to achieve health and wholeness is by living one day at a time. To do this successfully, we need to realize we cannot undo a single act we performed or unsay any harsh words spoken in the past. No matter how much we may regret or re-feel yesterday's painful experiences, there is nothing we can do to change what happened. The past is forever beyond our control.

The same thing is true of the future. No matter how much we may worry and fret over it, very few of us can predict what tomorrow will bring. We can only prepare for a hope-filled future by living fully and confidently today.

TODAY is all I have. Let me make the most of it.
You are reading from the book:
The Reflecting Pond by Liane Cordes. © 1981 by Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 23, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017

"Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitude." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "They Stopped in Time," Ch 17 ("Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict"), p 449.

Today, grant me understanding and accept that my alcoholism and recovery depend on ME to make fundamental changes internally - and that those changes will not come by the world changing to accommodate me. If I have not yet accepted that I must live life on life's terms or if I have not accepted or surrendered to the basic truth that I am powerless over alcohol, I am undoubtedly going to stumble not too far out of the starting gate. I cannot expect the realities of life to change any more than I would change myself to comply with someone else's expectations of me. Thus, for the basic changes that I must make for a quality sobriety, I have to look inward to begin making those changes. Today, I scrap my expectations of the world and everyone to meet MY standards; instead, I ask if maybe the problem isn't ME. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Aug. 23, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
"We who have accepted the AA principles have been faced with the necessity for a thorough personal housecleaning. We must face and be rid of the things in  ourselves which have been blocking us. We, therefore, take a personal inventory. We take stock honestly. We search out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure. Resentment is the number one offender. Life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. If we are to live, we must be free of anger."

Am I free of resentment and anger?

Meditation for the Day
Keep in mind the goal you are striving for, the good life you are trying to attain. Do not let little things divert you from the path. Do not be overcome by the small trials and vexations of each day. Try to see the purpose and plan to which all is leading. If, when climbing a mountain, you keep your eyes on each stony or difficult place, how weary is your climb. But if you think of each step as leading to the summit of achievement from which a glorious landscape will open out before you, then your climb will be endurable and you will achieve your goal.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may realize that life without a goal is futile. I pray that I may find the good life worth striving for.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 23, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017

Reflection for the Day
I heard someone in The Program once read, "Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well, regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." That is what Step Seven means to me - that I'm going to clean house and will have all the help I need.

Do I realize, by taking the Seventh Step, that I'm not really giving up a thing but, instead, getting rid of whatever might lead me back to my addiction and away from peace of mind?

Today I Pray
May I know that if I should give up that key word "humbly," which combines all in one - my humility, my awe, my faith - I would once again be taking too much on my shoulders and assuming that the Power is my own. May God in His wisdom make His will mine, His strength mine, His goodness mine. As He fills me with these Divine gifts, there can be little space left in me for looming defects.

Today I Will Remember
Trust in God and clean house.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 23, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017

Alcoholism is now recognized as a disease, and this recognition brought about countless studies and experimentations on the part of the physicians, scientists, educators, employers, etc. Clinics are being set up, new medicines, new cures, new therapeutics are being experimented with. There are almost as many theories as there are alcoholics. There are almost as many failures as there are theories.

Alcoholics Anonymous is no theory; it is a proven fact.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 23, 2017 - Good morning to a beautiful Wednesday of new hope, faith, courage and strength


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Aug. 22, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

. . . (the king) can deprive them of the benefit of sun and rain, . . . and they are at the same time pelted from above with great stones, . . . while the roofs of their houses are beaten to pieces.
 -- Jonathan Swift


How do we punish those momentarily gone wrong? Do we try hurting with words - jab them in the heart with some spear-shaped phrases, slap them in the face with an insult or two? Maybe we like to poison them with a strong dose of silence. Have we tried to make them feel bad by making them feel sorry for us? Do we remind them daily that what went wrong with our lives is really all their fault?

We must remember that we are the rulers of our own lives only, and this knowledge gives us the power to punish only ourselves. It also gives us control over our lives, so that others' actions need not wrong us, and we need not punish.

Have I been punishing someone?
You are reading from the book:
Today's Gift © 1985, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 22, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017

" ...I never got into jail. I didn't get into a sanitarium, either. I wanted to die, and often I would think of ways. ...Once, when I called my analyst and told her I was contemplating death, she came over and tried to get me into a sanitarium. Frightened and shamed, I refused and sobered up temporarily. I was not mugged or manhandled. I did not resort to semi-prostitution for the price of a drink. But all these things could have happened. The sanitarium should have happened. I was not fit to be on the loose, and there was no one to commit me." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "They Stopped in Time," Ch 13 ("Stars Don't Fall"), pp 411-12.

Today, what came with my drinking: jail, psychiatric hospitals, electroshock, getting mugged, whoring myself for booze, a botched suicide attempt with whiskey and anti-depressants. These are things that can happen again, and such is the life that looms if I cave into temptation to drink again. Do I really want to risk going back there? No, and I don't have to! I'm in AA now, and it's given me the choice not to drink. If temptation or whatever weak moment catches me off guard, God grant me the wisdom to remember what active alcoholism is really about and not to romanticize those drinking days with any so-called good times. If those times had really been good, I would have had no reason to reach out to AA. But I did have a reason; pray I never forget it. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Aug. 22, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
"Those who do not recover are people who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault. They seem to be born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover, if they have the capacity to be honest."

Am I completely honest with myself and with other people?

Meditation for the Day
You can make use of your mistakes, failures, losses and sufferings. It is not what happens to you so much as what use you make of it. Take your sufferings, difficulties and hardships and make use of them to help some unfortunate soul who is faced with the same troubles. Then something good will come out of your suffering and the world will be a better place because of it. The good you do each day will live on, after the trouble and distress have gone, after the difficulty and the pain have passed away.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may make good use of my mistakes and failures. I pray that some good may result from my painful experiences.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 22, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017

Reflection for the Day
So often, in the past, we prayed for "things," or favoring circumstances, or a thousand requests that were really selfish in nature. I've learned in The Program that real prayer begins - not ends - in asking God to change me. In fact, that's exactly what the Seventh Step suggests: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. We ask God for help through His grace, and the amazing thing is that such a prayer is answered if we truly want it to be. Our own wills are so much a required part of the result that it seems almost as if we had done it. But the help from God is even more necessary; without Him, we couldn't possibly have done it alone.

Have I asked God to help me change myself?

Today I Pray
May I learn to pray broadly - that God's will be done, that God remove my shortcomings. No need to specify what these shortcomings are; God who knows all, knows. May I learn that details are not necessary in my praying. All that matters is my humility and my faith that God, does indeed, have the Power to change my life.

Today I Will Remember
I ask God to change me.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 22, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017

Had Doctor Bob died in May 1935, he would have died a failure - a man who had wasted years of training and exceptional ability, a despair and a disappointment to his family, his profession and himself.

But Doctor Bob lived for fifteen more years, and accomplished more in that short span than the combined efforts of his entire profession in the treatment of the baffling disease of Alcoholism.

Medicine had treated the drunk like a guinea pig. Dr. Bob looked in the heart and soul of the man. He soon learned that the physical aspect of the case was the least and most temporary of the causes.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 22, 2017 - Rise 'n shine for a terrific Tuesday of renewed faith, hope, courage and strength


Monday, August 21, 2017

Aug. 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, Aug. 21, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Love, and love alone, is capable of giving thee a happier life.
 -- Ludwig van Beethoven


We are making a response to life's every waking moment; our attitudes formulate the tenor of our responses. When the sun warms our bodies and the flowers tease our nostrils, it may be easy to love everyone and smile. When we have a negative attitude, we may snarl and all too quickly criticize innocent bystanders, as well as friends and family. All we need is to make a simple decision to look with love as far as our eyes can see.

When our hearts are God-centered and filled with love and laughter, we'll find no experience too difficult to handle. No problem will evade its solution for long.

An attitude of love promises us gratitude in abundance. We'll never doubt that all is well when love is at our center.
You are reading from the book:
Worthy of Love by Karen Casey. © 1985 by Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, Aug. 21, 2017

"AA is not a plan for recovery that can be finished and done with. It is a way of life, and the challenge contained in its principles is great enough to keep any human being striving for as long as he lives. We do not, cannot, out-grow this plan. As arrested alcoholics, we must have a program for living that allows for limitless expansion." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "Alcoholics Anonymous Number Three," Ch 12 ("The Keys of the Kingdom"), p 311.

Today, I will not and cannot expect that being an "arrested alcoholic" will assure continued recovery and sobriety. We hear often but never too much that our program is not applied solely to sobering up but to daily living to maintain and enhance the quality of sobriety. If a day comes when I tinker with the dangerous folly that I have gone as far as I can with the program or have outgrown it, I am probably teetering on the edge of a slip or, more likely, a relapse. Today, AA becomes not only a program of recovery, but a daily way of life. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Aug. 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Aug. 21, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
"Who are you to say there is no God? This challenge comes to all of us. Are we capable of denying that there is a design and purpose in all of life as we know it? Or are we willing to admit that faith in some kind of Divine Principle is a part of our make-up, just as much as the feeling we have for a friend? We find a great Reality deep down within us, if we face ourselves as we really are. In the last analysis, it is only there that God may be found. When we find this Reality within us, we are restored to our right minds."

Have I found the great Reality?

Meditation for the Day
"Behold, I make all things new." When you change to a new way of life, you leave many things behind you. It is only the earth-bound spirit that cannot soar. Loosen somewhat the strands that tie you to the earth. It is only the earthly desires that bind you. Your new freedom will depend on your ability to rise above earthly things. Clipped wings can grow again. Broken wings can regain a strength and beauty unknown before. If you will, you can be released and free.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be freed from things that hold me down. I pray that my spirit may soar in freedom.

Hazelden Foundation