Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Dec. 12, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017 
"What alcoholic can live with rejection? How devastating, too, are the subsequent feelings of inadequacy and self-pity. There's only one answer - liquid comfort. The unwillingness to admit failure requires even further friendly intake. It becomes vital, also, that others not know of our defeats nor suspect our loss of confidence."- Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "They Stopped in Time," Ch 3 ("Those Golden Years"), p 331. 

Today, a drinking alcoholic cannot accept or live with rejection - but a recovering alcoholic can. With the program, I see now that what is "rejected" is not my entire being but only what I have said or done. And when I was ill-equipped as a drinking alcoholic to learn, the steps of AA alert me when I am wrong, to promptly admit it and how not to respond verbally without emotion but with logic. Few are the feelings of absolute rejection. I am sober now, though, and I can see with the vision AA has provided that I do not have to perceive a "no" to be a rejection of my total being but only in what I have said or done. In the end, I am a member of AA, and the program rejects no one. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Dec. 12, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Clergymen speak of the spiritual fellowship of the church. This is much closer to the AA way than mere group therapy. Such a fellowship is based on a common belief in God and a common effort to live a spiritual life. We try to do this in AA. We also try to get down to the real problems in each others' lives. We try to open up to each other. We have a real desire to be of service to each other. We try to go deep down into the personal lives of our members.

Do I appreciate the deep personal fellowship of AA?

Meditation for the Day
Love and fear cannot dwell together. By their very natures, they cannot exist side by side. Fear is a very strong force. And, therefore, a weak and vacillating love can soon be routed by fear. But a strong love, a love that trusts in God, is sure eventually to conquer fear. The only sure way to dispel fear is to have the love of God more and more in your heart and soul.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that love will drive out the fear in my life. I pray that my fear will flee before the power of the love of God.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 12, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017

Reflection for the Day
These days, if I go through an experience that is new and demanding, I can do so in a spirit of confidence and trust. Thanks to The Program and Twelve Steps, I've come to know that God is with me in all places and in all endeavors. His Spirit is in me as well as in the people around me. As a result, I feel comfortable even in new situations and at home even among strangers.

Will I continue to flow along and grow along with The Program, trusting in the power and love of God at work in me and in my life?

Today I Pray
May God's comfort be with me in all situations, familiar or new. May He rebuild the sagging bridge of my confidence. May I acknowledge God in me and in others around me. May that mutual identity in God help me communicate with people on a plane of honesty. If I can learn to trust God, I can learn to trust the ones who share this earth with me.

Today I Will Remember
God teaches me how to trust.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 12, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017

If our God, as we understand Him, is a personal God, then it is reasonable to assume that He is so close to us that He is residing in us. He is then part of us and we are part of Him. As we cannot have two different personalities at the same time, we can assume we are either worldly or Godlike, depending upon the characteristic that has dominance at the moment of any specific action.

We cannot expect this God in us to help us unless we are in accord with Him and are endeavoring to help ourselves; otherwise, we would be working contrary to ourselves.

Give the God in you a chance - He has given you a thousand.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 12, 2017 - Rise 'n shine to a terrific Tuesday with faith, hope, confidence and gratitude


Monday, December 11, 2017

Dec. 11, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, Dec. 11, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

It is important that we plan for the future, imperative that we accept an outcome unplanned.
 -- Molly McDonald


We sometimes feel confused over how to live just one day at a time while making strategic plans for the future. It seems contradictory to try to do both. Yet that is what a healthy recovery means.

Goals help direct our attention. They give us needed focus. They give us enthusiasm for making the most of our recovery. But just as we need goals to strengthen our resolve to move forward, we need willingness to let God be involved in our effort and, even more important, in charge of the outcome. God's role and ours, though related, are in fact quite separate. In our rush to move forward we sometimes forget to turn over the reins when our part is done.

We are learning the joys of living one day at a time. We are letting God be responsible for the outcomes of our endeavors. Each day in recovery gives us more time to practice doing only what we need to do and leaving the rest in God's hands.

I must let God take charge of the outcomes of my efforts today. If I do, I will be cared for in the most loving fashion.
You are reading from the book:

A Woman's Spirit by Karen Casey. © 1994 by Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 11, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 
"For most normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colorful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good. But not so with us in those last days of heavy drinking. The old pleasures were gone. They were but memories. Never could we recapture the great moments of the past. There was an insistent yearning to enjoy life as we once did and a heartbreaking obsession that some new miracle of control would enable us to do it. There was always one more attempt - and one more failure." Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 11 ("A Vision for You"), p 151. 

Todaydrinking to deal with emotions and people I could not handle, I ask if I ever found "release from care, boredom and worry" or a "joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good?"  No, I didn't. Alcohol was never a social luxury for me. Instead, it was a way to oblivion so that I didn't have to deal with what I couldn't or didn't want to face. "...(T)he great moments of the past?" Mine overwhelmed any good ones. With that memory, then, why do I want to reclaim any moments of my drinking past? I don't. The program has given me the ammunition to deal with and face what I once could not. I don't need alcohol now, and I don't want it. In sobriety, I'm making better memories. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Dec. 11, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Dec. 11, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Doctors think of the AA fellowship as group therapy. This is a very narrow conception of the depth of the AA fellowship. Looking at it purely as a means of acquiring and holding sobriety, it is right as far as it goes. But it doesn't go far enough. Group therapy is directed toward the help that the individual receives from it. It is essentially selfish. It is using the companionship of other alcoholics only in order to stay sober ourselves. But this is only the beginning of real AA fellowship.

Do I deeply feel the true AA fellowship?

Meditation for the Day
Most of us have had to live through the dark part of our lives, the time of failure, the nighttime of our lives, when we were full of struggle and care, worry and remorse, when we felt deeply the tragedy of life. But with our daily surrender to a Higher Power, come a peace and joy that makes all things new. We can now take each day as a joyous sunrise-gift from God to use for Him and for other people. The night of the past is gone, this day is ours.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may take this day as a gift from God. I pray that I may thank God for this day and be glad in it.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 11, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, Dec. 11, 2017
Reflection for the Day
Before I came to The Program - in fact, before I knew of The Program's existence - I drifted from crisis to crisis. Occasionally, I tried to use my will to chart a new course; however, like a rudderless ship, I inevitably foundered once again on the rocks of my own despair. Today, in contrast, I receive guidance from my Higher Power. Sometimes, the only answer is a sense of peace of an assurance that all is well.

Even though there may be a time of waiting before I see results, or before any direct guidance comes, will I try to remain confident that things are working out in ways that will be for the greatest good of everyone concerned?

Today I Pray
May I not expect instant, verbal communication with my Higher Power, like directions on a stamped, self-addressed postcard. May I have patience, and listen and sense that God is present. May I accept my new feeling of radiant warmth and serenity as God's way of assuring me that I am, finally, making some good choices.

Today I Will Remember
Patience: God's message will come.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 11, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, Dec. 11, 2017

Every man is both human and divine, both good and evil, strong and weak, wise and foolish. The body, soul and mind are the battleground of our conflicting natures, and while these conflicts rage, we can have no peace.

It is only when we bring our conflicting emotions under control that victory over self is possible. We alcoholics have learned that we are unable to accomplish this without outside help. With that help, real peace is obtainable. No other way has worked for us.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 11, 2017 - Good morning to a marvelous Monday and great new week with faith, hope, courage and gratitude


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Dec. 10, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are.
 -- George Bernard Shaw


It's easy to let circumstances determine how we think and behave. While it's true that some events seem devastating, our relationship with a Higher Power can help us accept and even grow from experiences that seem impossible to cope with.

We all have known men and women who've handled grave upsets far more easily than we have. How did they do it? They have no magic. Rather, they may be more comfortable letting their Higher Power help them accept and understand unfortunate circumstances. Once we accept our anger or disappointment, we're free to move on to better feelings. We begin to realize we have choices in how we look at problems.

We are never given more than we can handle. We can develop acceptance of any circumstances, but our success in doing so comes mainly through our reliance on God to show us the way.

God will help me handle the uncontrollable events of today. Through acceptance, I can change my feelings at any moment - even right now.
You are reading from the book:

In God's Care by Karen Casey. © 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 10, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017 

Todayunderstand that gratitude and humility are not the same thing and why the difference is important to our recovery. We tend to think humility is gratitude for the good we have experienced in sobriety. But this is not humility; being thankful is gratitude. Humility is the surrender of our own will to the higher power of our individual understanding. And why is humility vital to our recovery? In genuinely seeking the will of our higher power and the ability to carry it out, we are abandoning the failed strategy of yesterday's drunks - doing it our way. Most of us have been there and done that and, for most of us, it didn't work. Today, we cannot express sincere gratitude and claim we are humble if we have not asked our higher power what He wants us to do and how to do it. With that expression, we loosen our grip on self-will run riot, and we have taken a step forward toward recovery. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Dec. 10, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Our drinking fellowship was a substitute one, for lack of something better. At the time, we did not realize what real fellowship could be. Drinking fellowship has a fatal fault. It is not based on a firm foundation. Most of it is on the surface. It is based mostly on the desire to use your companions for our own pleasure, and using others is a false foundation. Drinking fellowship has been praised in song and story. The "cup that cheers" has become famous as a means of companionship. But we realize that the higher centers of our brains are dulled by alcohol and such fellowship cannot be on the highest plane. It is at best only a substitute.

Do I see my drinking fellowship in its proper light?

Meditation for the Day
Set for yourself the task of growing daily more and more into the consciousness of a Higher Power. We must keep trying to improve our conscious contact with God. This is done by prayer, quiet times and communion. Often all you need to do is sit silent before God and let Him speak to you through your thought. Try to think God's thoughts after Him. When the guidance comes, you must not hesitate but go out and follow that guidance in your daily work, doing what you believe to be the right thing.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be still and know that God is with me. I pray that I may open my mind to the leading of the Divine Mind.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 10, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017

Reflection for the Day
Have I ever stopped to think that the impulse to "blow off steam" and say something unkind or even vicious will, if followed through, hurt me far more seriously than the person to whom the insult is directed? I must try constantly to quiet my mind before I act with impatience or hostility, for my mind can be - in that very real way - an enemy as great as any I've ever known.

Will I look before I leap, think before I speak - and try to avoid self-will to the greatest extent possible?

Today I Pray
May I remember that my blow-ups and explosions, when they are torrents of accusations or insults, hurt me just as much as the other person. May I try not to let my anger get to the blow-up stage, simply by recognizing it as I go along and stating it as a fact.

Today I Will Remember
Keep a loose lid on the teapot.

Hazelden Foundation