Friday, July 19, 2024

July 19, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

 

Friday, July 19, 2024

Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Disappointing Others

Learning the art of saying no to other people wasn't easy. I used to always come up with extravagant stories, excuses, or narratives for why I couldn't do something. Nobody ever taught me that I could just simply say no. I grew up believing that somehow saying no to others would do them harm. I didn't understand that saying yes sometimes causes myself harm. Like my friend Holly Whitaker says, "Disappoint other people with your no; don't disappoint yourself with a yes you'll later resent." Isn't that the truth?

There's such freedom in saying no. Perhaps you know this. I'm a recovering people pleaser, so it took me a little longer than most to figure this out. I'm really good at it now. When we say no to other people, we don't need to overexplain, lie, manipulate, justify, or make excuses. We can decline graciously, confidently, firmly. We don't need to justify our decisions. We can respond with a simple "Thanks for thinking of me, but I'm going to pass" or "Sorry, I'm unavailable for that" or even better, "No, thank you." If you don't already do this, try it out.

I'd rather disappoint others than disappoint myself.

Hazelden Foundation

July 19, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

 

Step by Step
Friday, July 19, 2024

The mental state of the sick alcoholic is beyond description. I had no resentments against individuals — the whole world was all wrong. My thoughts went round and round with ‘What’s it all about anyhow? People have wars and kill each other; they struggle and cut each other’s throats for success and what does anyone get out of it? Haven’t I been successful, haven’t I accomplished extraordinary things …What do I get out of it? Everything’s all wrong and hell with it.’” — Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part I (“Personal Stories”), Ch 6 (“The Vicious Cycle”), pp 244-45.

Today, an inventory of my mental health even if I am not drinking, if for no other reason than to make sure I’m not on a dry drunk. If ever I thought in my drinking days that “the whole world was wrong,” do I still believe it? Instead of adapting myself to the world and finding my own place in it, do I still consciously or unconsciously expect the world to change to adapt to me? If I do, chances are my Fourth Step was the immoral inventory of the world around me, not an inventory of myself — or I have neglected tolerance. The “sick alcoholic” does not have to be a drinking one. Today, to make sure I am not just dry, my mental and spiritual l health requires a checkup that I’m not still the sick alcoholic of my drinking days. And our common journey continues. Step by step. — Chris M., 2024

July 19, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, July 19, 2024

AA Thought for the Day
Gossip about or criticism of personalities has no place in an AA club room. Every man in AA is a brother and every woman is a sister, as long as he or she is a member of AA. We ought not to gossip about the relationships of any man or woman in the group. And if we say about another member, “I think she or he is taking a few drinks on the side,” it’s the worst thing we could do to that person. If a woman or a man is not living up to AA principles or has a slip, it’s up to her or him to stand up in a meeting and say so. If they don’t do that, they are only hurting themselves.

Do I talk about other members behind their back?

Meditation for the Day
To God, a miracle of change in a person’s life is only a natural happening. But it is a natural happening operated by spiritual forces. There is no miracle in personalities too marvelous to be an everyday happening. But miracles happen only to those who are fully guided and strengthened by God. Marvelous changes in people’s natures happen so simply, and yet they are free from all other agency than the grace of God. But these miracles have been prepared for by days and months of longing for something better. They are always accompanied by a real desire to conquer self and to surrender one’s life to God.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may expect miracles in the lives of people. I pray that I may be used to help people change.

Hazelden Foundation

July 19, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

 

A Day at a Time
Friday, July 19, 2024

Reflection for the Day
Many of us come to The Program professing that we’re agnostic or atheistic. As someone once put it, our will to disbelieve is so strong that we prefer a date with the undertaker to an experimental and open-minded search for a Higher Power. Fortunately for those of us with closed minds, the constructive forces in The Program almost always overcome our obstinacy. Before long, we discover the bountiful world of faith and trust. It was there all along, but we lacked the willingness and open-mindedness to accept it.

Does obstinacy still sometimes blind me to the power for good that resides in faith?

Today I Pray
I want to thank God for this opportunity to open my mind; to learn again about faith and trust; to realize that my wanderings did not change His place within me or His loving concern for me. May I know that it was my own doing that I lost faith. Thank God for another chance to believe.

Today I Will Remember
Discard the will to disbelieve.

Hazelden Foundation

July 19, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

 

The Eye Opener
Friday, July 19, 2024

In our drinking days, we had sufficient knowledge to know that there was a better way of living. But it was beyond our wildest imaginings that such a life was possible for us. An idea that sprang from the imagination of Bill and Dr. Bob took root in our minds, and we became possessed of the knowledge that enabled us to convert our lives into lives beyond the limits of our imagination.

Hazelden Foundation

July 19, 2024 - Good morning and be grateful for another fabulous Friday

 

Good morning with hopes of a paced and productive Friday 

for everyone and a day without the drama and trauma of people and things that don't deserve our time

Thursday, July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

 

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

When nobody around you seems to measure up, it's time to check your standards.

-- Bill Lamley

Being overcritical and irritable has been common to most of us. Some of us go around with controlled smiles while underneath we are grumbling. Others blast everyone around them. Some of us save our most critical reactions for those we love while staying sweet and friendly with the outside world. In any case, we are caught in a blinding trap. We may know we feel trapped but do not see that our problem is mainly with ourselves.

We need to look at our relationships. Have we been falling into a pattern where no one seems to measure up? Are we also being too critical or demanding of ourselves? Perhaps we don't need to lower our standards so much as to hold them less tightly. If we can be friends to ourselves and give ourselves a little more leeway, we can be more easygoing with others.

I cannot force myself to be less critical, but I can let go of my willfulness so my more easygoing side comes forward. I can be less judgmental of myself and others.

Hazelden Foundation

July 18, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

 

 Step by Step

Thursday, July 18, 2024

” …I felt a fear coming into my life, and I couldn’t cope with it. I got so that I hid quite a bit of the time, wouldn’t answer the phone, and stayed by myself as much as I could. I noticed that I was avoiding all my social friends …I couldn’t keep up with any of my other friends, and I wouldn’t go to anyone’s house unless I knew they drank as heavily as I did. I never knew it was the first drink that did it. I thought I was losing my mind when I realized that I couldn’t stop drinking. That frightened me terribly.” — Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part II (“Personal Stories)”, Ch 2 (“Fear of Fear”), p 324.

Today, I do not have to fear the first drink that unleashes in its wake all its devastation because, today, recovery has freed me from fear and all its siblings and cousins. I can claim with honesty that I have fully surrendered to Step One — ” …(A)dmitted (I am) powerless …” – and taken as gospel the Program’s credos “One Day at a Time,” “First Things First,” “Keep It Sweet and Simple” and “There for the grace of God go I.” I am in recovery, I am sober and I don’t need or want the first drink. Without it, I don’t have to avoid friends, family or anyone else, and I don’t have to be afraid to answer the phone because of some paranoid fear that it’s news that I did something last night that I don’t remember. Today, I am humble and loyal to the Program. With it, fear is knocked out of the ballpark. And our common journey continues. Step by step.– Chris M., 2024

July 18, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, July 18, 2024

AA Thought for the Day
Two things can spoil group unity — gossip and criticism. To avoid these divisive things, we must realize that we’re all in the same boat. We’re like a group of people in a lifeboat after the steamer has sunk. If we’re going to be saved, we’ve got to pull together. It’s a matter of life or death for us. Gossip and criticism are sure ways of disrupting any AA group. We’re all in AA to keep sober ourselves and to help each other to keep sober. And neither gossip nor criticism helps anyone to stay sober.

Am I often guilty of gossip or criticism?

Meditation for the Day
We should try to be grateful for all the blessings we have received and which we do not deserve. Gratitude to God, for all His blessings, will make us humble. Remember that we could do little by ourselves, and now we must rely largely on God’s grace in helping ourselves and others. People do not care much for those who are smug and self-satisfied or those who gossip and criticize. But people are impressed by true humility. So we should try to walk humbly at all times. Gratitude to God and true humility are what makes us effective.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may walk humbly with God. I pray that I may rely on His grace to carry me through.

Hazelden Foundation

July 18, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

 

A Day at a Time
Thursday, July 18, 2024

Reflection for the Day
Very few of us know what we really want, and none of us knows what is best for us. That knowledge is in the hands of God. This is a fact I must ultimately accept, in spite of my rebelliousness and stubborn resistance. From this day forward, I’ll limit my prayers to requests for guidance, an open mind to receive it, and the strength to act upon it. To the best of my capability, I’ll defer all decisions until my contact with my Higher Power has made it seemingly apparent that the decisions are right for me.

Do I “bargain” with my Higher Power, assuming that I know what’s best for me?

Today I Pray
May I not try to make pacts with God. Instead, may I be a vessel, open to whatever inspiration He wishes to put into me. I pray that I will remember that God’s decisions are better for me than my own fumbling plans, and that they will come to me at times I need them.

Today I Will Remember
I will not bargain with God.

Hazelden Foundation

July 18, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

 

The Eye Opener
Thursday, July 18, 2024

It is frequently true that many of us might be better employed. A lot of good farmers and mechanics have been ruined by making doctors, lawyers or engineers out of them.

When we finally sobered up, many of us were unemployable in the profession or trade for which we had some aptitude, and the necessity of getting a job made us take the first thing that presented itself.

While we are on our Inventories, it might be well to check on our adaptability to our present jobs and, where we are wrong, endeavor to do something about it.

Hazelden Foundation

July 18, 2024 - Time to haul it out of bed and set out on another beautiful Thursday

 

Good morning and here's hoping for a fantastic and productive 

Thursday for everyone, and let's give the day our best efforts

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Today's GIft from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

 

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Go often to the house of your friend: for weeds soon choke up the unused path.

-- Scandinavian proverb

Our program has two parts: the Steps and the fellowship. Both keep us sober. We can't stay sober if we go it alone. We need to work the Steps. We also need people -- the help of our friends daily.

Recovery is about relationships. We get new friends. We get involved. We give. We get. In times of need, we may not want to ask our new friends for help. Maybe we don't want to "burden them." Maybe we're afraid to ask for help. Well, go ahead. Make that call. Ask your new friend to spend time with you. You deserve and need it. They deserve it; they need it.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, help me to get help from my friends as if my life depends on it.

Action for the Day

Today, I'll see or call two program friends and let them know how I’m doing.

Hazelden Foundation

July 17, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

 

Step by Step
Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Today, gratitude instead of crediting myself for all things good that happen for me, however small. My spiritual fitness depends on humility, and humility crumbles into self-importance and egoism if I think that I and I alone worked hard and “deserve” the good and accomplishments of todayAlthough it is appropriate to hope that my decisions and actions contribute to some good, gratitude has to be given to my Higher Power for my selfless decisions and actions. In recovery, my spiritual and emotional foundations would not be as solid as they have become since I surrendered and set out on their charted course. Today, I am grateful to recovery for empowering me with the ability to do what is right for something and someone other than myself. While I can say I grabbed the lifeline of recovery, it is that lifeline and whoever threw it to me that is owed the gratitude for the good I have today. And our common journey continues. Step by step. — Chris M., 2024

July 17, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, July 17, 2024

AA Thought for the Day
The new life of sobriety we are learning to live in AA is slowly growing on us, and we are beginning to get some of that deep peace of mind and serenity that we never thought were possible. At first we may have doubted that this could happen to us, but after any considerable length of time in AA, looking at the happy faces around us, we know that somehow it is happening to us. In fact, it cannot help happening to anyone who takes the AA program seriously day by day.

Can I see my own happiness reflected in the faces of others?

Meditation for the Day
God does not withhold His presence from you. He does not refuse to reveal more of His truth to you. He does not hold back His spirit from you. He does not withhold the strength that you need. His presence, His truth, His spirit, His strength are always immediately available to you, whenever you are fully willing to receive them. But they may be blocked off by selfishness, intellectual pride, fear, greed and materialism. We must try to get rid of these blocks and let God’s spirit come in.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may remove all blocks that are keeping me from God. I pray that I may let God come into my life with power.

Hazelden Foundation