Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Oct. 18, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017

Today, no waste of valuable time that should be spent on progressing in sobriety to fight an urge for "just one" drink. I already know the deception of "just one." AA has armed us with the steps to dodge the bullet of temptation, and personal experience shows time and again the consequences if I give in. In the end, the temptation to drink "just one" is a simple choice, and that choice like any other has consequences - and I alone will be responsible to those consequences. They have taken too much from me already. Thus, the choice is simple: DON'T DRINK. Today, I don't have time to deal with temptation or wondering if I can get away with "just one." I can't. More significantly, I don't want to drink. Case closed. Today, I'll focus my emotional energy on something more productive, like sobriety. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Oct. 18, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Have I got over most of my sensitiveness, my feelings which are too easily hurt and my just plain laziness and self-satisfaction? Am I willing to go all out for AA at no matter what cost to my precious self? Is my own comfort more important to me than doing the things that need to be done? Have I got to the point where what happens to me is not so important? Can I face up to things that are embarrassing or uncomfortable if they are the right things to do for the good of AA? Have I given AA just a small piece of myself?

Am I willing to give all of myself whenever necessary?

Meditation for the Day
Not until you have failed can you learn true humility. Humility arises from a deep sense of gratitude to God for giving you the strength to rise above past failures. Humility is not inconsistent with self-respect. The true person has self-respect and the respect of others and yet is humble. The humble person is tolerant of others' failings, and does not have a critical attitude toward the foibles of others. Humble people are hard on themselves and easy on others.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be truly humble and yet have self-respect. I pray that I may see the good in myself as well as the bad.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 18, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017

Reflection for the Day
Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the rewards that would be mine when I first contemplated turning my life and will over to the care of God as I understand Him. Now I can rejoice in the blessing of my own recovery, as well as the recoveries of countless others who have found hope and a new way of life in The Program. After all the years of waste and terror, I realize today that God has always been on my side and at my side.

Isn't my clearer understanding of God's will one of the best things that has happened to me?

Today I Pray
May I be thankful for the blessed contrast between the way my life used to be (Part I) and the way it is now (Part II). In Part I, I was the practicing addict, adrift among my fears and delusions. In Part II, I am the recovering addict, rediscovering my emotions, accepting my responsibilities, learning what the real world has to offer, growing close to my Higher Power. Without the contrast, I could never feel the joy I know today or sense the peaceful nearness of my Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember
I am grateful for such contrast.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 18, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017

The life of the alcoholic is very similar to a jigsaw puzzle. In our days of drinking, the whole of life appeared as simply a jumbled mass of unrelated pieces, impossible to unscramble.

In AA, someone gave us the cornerpiece and, from this, we slowly and laboriously found one piece after another. Each piece that we fitted in made it easier to find the next piece.

First, we found understanding, then hope, then determination, then sobriety, then unselfishness, then love, then faith and finally God.

All the pieces are in place finally, the picture makes sense - and it is beautiful to behold.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 18, 2017 - Good morning to Wednesday with reaffirmed faith, hope, courage, peace and gratitude


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Oct. 17, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is: 

Reflection for the Day
"When a man has reached a condition in which he believes that a thing must happen when he does not wish it, and that what he wishes to happen never will be, this is really the state called desperation," wrote Arthur Schopenhauer. The very real pain of emotional difficulties is sometimes very hard to take while we're trying to maintain sobriety. Yet we learn, in time, that overcoming such problems is the real test of the Program's way of living.
Do I believe that adversity gives me more opportunity to grow than does comfort or success?

Today I Pray
May I believe firmly that God, in God's infinite wisdom, does not send me those occasional moments of emotional stress in order to tease my sobriety, but to challenge me to grow in my control and my conviction. May I learn not to be afraid of emotional summits and canyons for the Program has outfitted me for all kinds of terrain.

Today I will remember strength through adversity.
You are reading from the book:
A Day at a Time © 1989 by Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 17, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017

Today, no regrets, grief, sense of loss or the bitter from the sweet of what I must leave behind in my journey toward sobriety. Some people and places that were a significant, even enabling part of my life in my drinking days may no longer have a place in my new life in recovery, and I must be prepared that I may have to cut some losses in order to attain greater gains. If I am reluctant to move on without someone or something that was an influential part of my life as a drinking alcoholic, may I be able to remove myself from the emotional and use the logic to ask if maintaining old ties is worth the risk to my recovery. If so, I have no choice but to move on although I will never be alone. Today, if my sobriety requires it, I may have to make the tough choices between what once was seemingly precious to me and moving toward something even more precious. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Oct. 17, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
What am I going to do today for AA? Is there someone I should call up on the telephone or someone I should go to see? Is there a letter I should write? Is there an opportunity somewhere to advance the work of AA which I have been putting off or neglecting? If so, will I do it today? Will I be done with procrastination and do what I have to do today? Tomorrow may be too late. How do I know there will be a tomorrow for me? How about getting out of my easy chair and getting going?

Do I feel that AA depends partly on me today?

Meditation for the Day
Today look upward toward God, not downward toward yourself. Look away from unpleasant surroundings, from lack of beauty, from the imperfections in yourself and in those around you. In your unrest, behold God's calmness; in your impatience, God's patience; in your limitations, God's perfection. Looking upward to God, your spirit will begin to grow. Then others will see something in you that they also want. As you grow in the spiritual life, you will be enabled to do many things that seemed too hard for you before.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may keep my eyes trained above the horizon of myself. I pray that I may see infinite possibilities for spiritual growth.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 17, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017

Reflection for the Day
Now that we're sober and living in reality, it's sometimes difficult to see ourselves as others see us and, in the process, determine how much progress we've made in recovery. In the old days, the back-of-the-bar mirror presented us with a distorted and illusory view of ourselves; the way we imagined ourselves to be and the way we imagined ourselves to appear in the eyes of others. A good way for me to measure my progress today is simply to look about me at my friends in The Program. As I witness the miracle of their recoveries, I realize that I'm part of the same miracle - and will remain so as long as I'm willing.

Am I grateful for reality and the Divine miracle of my recovery?

Today I Pray
May God keep my eyes open for miracles - those marvelous changes that have taken place in my own life and in the lives of my friends in the group. May I ask no other measurement of progress than a smile I can honestly mean and a clear eye and a mind that can, at last, touch reality. May my own joy be my answer to my question, "How am I doing?"

Today I Will Remember
Miracles measure our progress: Who needs more?

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 17, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017

In your AA talks, you may have the eloquence of a Patrick Henry but, if your AA work stops there, you are only fooling the new man temporarily. He will soon get wise to the fact that you are but a phonograph - nice to listen to but of no use to anyone beyond this one function.

Beautiful sentiments need lovely actions or they have but little value. Lovely actions speak for themselves.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 17, 2017 - Good Tuesday morning with reaffirmed courage, strength, hope, peace and gratitude


Monday, October 16, 2017

Oct. 16, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, Oct. 16, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is: 

Self-Help or Mutual Aid?
Assisting Others


The Twelve Step movement is sometimes called a self-help program. This falls short of describing what it really is. Mutual aid might be a better term.

Self-help implies that an individual will help himself or herself. Mutual aid is a much different sort of thing. With mutual aid, we do help ourselves, but we have found that the best way to do this is by helping each other. Self-help says, "I can do it," whereas mutual aid says, "We can do it."

We should not dismiss the idea of self-help or of doing one's best in achieving self-improvement. We must know, however, that we need the assistance and loving help of others for our highest growth. There are times when we will feel helpless and alone. That's when mutual aid will carry the day for us and perhaps even save our lives.

I'll realize today that I have a bond with others, and that I can achieve my highest good only in mutual service with them.
You are reading from the book:
Walk in Dry Places by Mel B. © 1996 by Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 16, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, Oct. 16, 2017
"The less people tolerated (alcoholics), the more we withdrew from society, from life itself. As we became subjects of King Alcohol, shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding companionship and approval. Momentarily we did - then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen - Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 11 ("A Vision for You"), p 151.

Today, the "hideous Four Horsemen," remembering that they once again will overwhelm me - if I allow them. I must not let either time or the distance from my last drink dim the desperation of the "chilling vapor that is loneliness" and the "sordid places" I sought for approval, acceptance or simple companionship. Nor must I forget the shattered quiet morning after when self-loathing, desperation and physical and emotional emptiness fueled the cycle to do it all over again and face another night of that "chilling vapor" of loneliness and another shattered quiet morning after. My life in sobriety is a day-by-day reprieve from that desperate drinking, and I must not take for granted today that sobriety is guaranteed to me tomorrow. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Oct. 16, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Oct. 16, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
How seriously do I take my obligations to AA? Have I taken all the good I can get out of it and then let my obligations slide? Or do I constantly feel a deep debt of gratitude and a deep sense of loyalty to the whole AA movement? Am I not only grateful but also proud to be a part of such a wonderful fellowship, which is doing such marvelous work among alcoholics? Am I glad to be a part of the great work that AA is doing and do I feel a deep obligation to carry on that work at every opportunity?

Do I feel that I owe AA my loyalty and devotion?

Meditation for the Day
If your heart is right, your world will be right. The beginning of all reform must be in yourself. It's not what happens to you, it's how you take it. However restricted your circumstances, however little you may be able to remedy financial affairs, you can always turn to your inward self and, seeing something not in order there, seek to right it. And as all reform is from within outward, you will always find that the outward is improved as the inward is improved. As you improve yourself, your outward circumstances will change for the better. The power released from within yourself will change your outward life.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that the hidden power within me may be released. I pray that I may not imprison the spirit that is within me.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 16, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, Oct. 16, 2017

Reflection for the Day
Someone once said that the mind's direction is more important than its progress. If my direction is correct, then progress is sure to follow. We first come to The Program to receive something for ourselves, but soon learn that we receive most bountifully when we give to others. If the direction of my mind is to give rather than to receive, then I'll benefit beyond my greatest expectations. The more I give of myself and the more generously I open my heart and mind to others, the more growth and progress I'll achieve.

Am I learning not to measure my giving against my getting, accepting that the act of giving is its own reward?

Today I Pray
May I not lose sight of that pillar of The Program - helping myself through helping others in our purpose of achieving comfortable sobriety. May I feel that marvel of giving and taking and giving back again from the moment I take the First Step. May I care deeply about others' maintaining their freedom from chemicals, and may I know that they care about me. It is a simple - and beautiful - exchange.

Today I Will Remember
Give and take and give back again.

Hazelden Foundation