Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sept. 26, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
Zip It
Not every thought needs to become a spoken word. Not every feeling needs to become an action. Sometimes I need to just keep quiet. If my words will seem harsh—if they will ridicule, judge, or critique—I won't say them. If they will be unkind, I will be kind and leave them unsaid. If I have an opinion (or advice) that hasn’t been asked for, I will keep it to myself. If it's not an objective fact, I won't present it; if it's not a truth, I won't spread it; if it's not mine to discuss, I won't discuss it. If I don't want to know or don't need to know—and if I cannot or should not do anything about it—then I will not ask about it. If I'm mad, I don't need to yell it; if I'm resentful, I don't need to prove it; if I'm hurting, I don't need to hurt someone back. I need to think before I speak or act. Mostly, I just need to zip it.
A closed mouth gathers no foot.
Anonymous

You are reading from the book:
Tending Dandelions © 2017 by Sandra Swenson

Sept. 26, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017

"God willing, we members of AA may never again have to deal with drinking, but we have to deal with sobriety every day. How do we do it? By learning - through practicing the Twelve Steps and through sharing at meetings - how to cope with the problems that we looked to booze to solve, back in our drinking days." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "They Lost Nearly All," Ch 13 ("AA Taught Him to Handle Sobriety"), p 560.

Today, my higher power's will and the 12 Steps will steer me from dealing with drinking again because my problem now is not drinking but living sober - living no longer in the problem but being a willing participant in the answer of living sober. In drinking, I experienced the answers that drinking had for me - fear, anger, disgust, regret, loneliness, pain, resentment. In sobriety, the answers aren't as clear because I either have lived too long in alcoholism or lived most of my life without sobriety. The key to living in the answer instead of the problem is, indeed, the 12 Steps. And if they sometimes lead me to uncertain and even scary places because they are not familiar, I know they cannot be as frightening as the certainty of where drinking will take me again. Today, I choose - because now I have a choice - to live in the solution of sobriety and not in the problem of drinking. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Sept. 26, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Continuing the consideration of the term "spiritual experience:" "The acquiring of an immediate and over-whelming God-consciousness, resulting in a dramatic transformation, though frequent, is by no means the rule. Most of our spiritual experiences are of the educational variety, and they develop slowly over a period of time. Quite often friends of newcomers are aware of the difference long before they are themselves. They finally realize that they have undergone a profound alteration in their reaction to life and that such a change could hardly have been brought about by themselves alone."

Is my outlook on life changing for the better?

Meditation for the Day
Look at the world as your Father's house. Think of all people you meet as guests in your Father's house, to be treated with love and consideration. Look at yourself as a servant in your Father's house, as a servant of all. Think of no work as beneath you. Be ever ready to do all you can for others who need your help. There is gladness in God's service. There is much satisfaction in serving the highest that you know. Express your love for God in service to all who are living with you in your Father's house.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may serve others out of gratitude to God. I pray that my work may be a small repayment for His grace so freely given me.

Hazelden Foundation

Sept. 26, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017

Reflection for the Day
Is freedom from addiction all that we're to expect from a spiritual awakening? Not at all. Freedom from addiction is only the bare beginning; it's only the first gift of our first awakening. Obviously, if more gifts are to come our way, our awakening has to continue. As it does continue, we find that slowly but surely we can scrap the old life - the one that didn't work - for a new life that can and does work under any and all conditions.

Am I willing to continue my awakening through the practice of the Twelve Steps?

Today I Pray
May I remember how it was when my only goal in life was to be free of my addiction. All the words and phrases I used were stoppers - "giving it up," "quitting," "cutting myself off." Once I was free, I began to realize that my freedom had more to do with "beginning" than "stopping." May I now continue to think in terms of starters - "expanding," "awakening," "growing," "learning," "becoming."

Today I Will Remember
My stopping was a starting point.

Hazelden Foundation

Sept. 26, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017

Famous Last Words: "If I had one more drink, I could cut off." "Lord, get me off this one and I'll never touch another drop." "A glass of beer won't hurt me." "I'm sober, ain't I? I don't need the meetings." The list is too long to go on.

We constantly sell ourselves a phony bill of goods and then cry our eyes out when we find we have gypped ourselves, but - it wasn't our fault, understand? If the wife hadn't ---, if the boss hadn't ---, if, if ...

Hazelden Foundation

Sept. 26, 2017 - Let's make it a great Tuesday of renewed faith, hope, courage and strength


Monday, September 25, 2017

Sept. 25, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, Sept. 25, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Today I Will Trust

Today, I will stop straining to know what I don't know.
To see what I can't see.
To understand what I don't yet understand. 

I will trust that being is sufficient,
And I will let go of my need to figure things out.
You are reading from the book:
The Language of Letting Go © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation

Sept. 25, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, Sept. 25, 2017

Today, accept myself first in starting to change the things I can - and must. And to change myself, I need the courage and brute honesty to see myself as I really am and not as I want to see myself and others to see me. If I can be strong and honest enough to see in myself what must go and what can be kept, I have to accept the good and bad before I know how to begin the work of moving forward. But if the bad out-weighs the good, I can keep the good as a building block to tear away the bad. If, on the other hand, I accept myself with no improvements needed, I've lied to myself. Today, I pray for the courage to change the things I can - me. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Sept. 25, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Sept. 25, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Let us consider the term "spiritual experience" as given in Appendix II of the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous: "A spiritual experience is something that brings about a personality change. By surrendering our lives to God as we understand Him, we are changed. The nature of this change is evident in recovered alcoholics. This personality change is not necessarily in the nature of a sudden and spectacular upheaval. We do not need to acquire an immediate and overwhelming God-consciousness, followed at once by a vast change in feeling and outlook. In most cases, the change is gradual."

Do I see a gradual and continuing change in myself?

Meditation for the Day
"Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." For rest from the care of life, you can turn to God each day in prayer and communion. Real relaxation and serenity come from a deep sense of the fundamental goodness of the universe. God's everlasting arms are underneath all and will support you. Commune with God, not so much for petitions to be granted as for the rest that comes from relying on His will and His purposes for your life. Be sure of God's strength available to you, be conscious of His support, and wait quietly until that true rest from God fills your being.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be conscious of God's support today. I pray that I may rest safe and sure therein.

Hazelden Foundation

Sept. 25, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, Sept. 25, 2017

Reflection for the Day
At the suggestion of a long-timer in The Program, I began taking "recovery inventories" periodically. The results showed me - clearly and unmistakably - that the promises of The Program have been true for me. I am not the sick person I was in years past; I am no longer bankrupt in all areas; I have a new life and a path to follow, and I'm at peace with myself most of the time. And that's a far way from the time in my life when I dreaded facing each new day. Perhaps we should all write recovery inventories from time to time, showing how The Program is working for each of us.

Just for today, will I try to sow faith where there is fear?

Today I Pray
God, let me compare my new life with the old one - just to see how things have changed for me. May I make progress reports for myself now and then - and for those who are newer to The Program. May these reports be - hearteningly - about "what I am doing" rather than - smugly - about "what I have done."

Today I Will Remember
Has The Program kept its promise? Have I kept mine?

Hazelden Foundation

Sept. 25, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, Sept. 25, 2017

Everyone is potentially as good as God made him, and the reason that he does not show it is because he has buried the fact beneath a mountain of selfishness.

It has ever been man's misdirected efforts to benefit himself and himself alone that have resulted in his greatest disservice to himself.

The closer man gets to himself, the further away he is from God and the world. The further he is away from God and the world, the further away he is from God's blessings and the world's happiness.

Hazelden Foundation

Sept. 25, 2017 - Rise 'n shine for a beautiful Monday and great new week of new hope and faith


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sept. 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Sharing our experiences heightens our joy and lessens out pain

Not letting other people know what's troubling us causes the problem to trouble us even more. "Secrets keep us stuck," say the wise ones on our journey.

Sharing what's on our mind with a friend or sponsor gives that person an opportunity to help us develop a better perspective. On the other hand, staying isolated with our worries exaggerates them.

Staying isolated with our joys isn't helpful either. It minimizes them, thus cheating us out of feeling their full thrill. We deserve joy in our lives – lots of it – because we will have our full measure of pain. Perhaps we fear others will criticize us for being braggarts if we sing forth our joy. But our real friends will sing right along with us. Our joys are deserved; they offset our trials. Telling others about both will let all our experiences count for something.

I will remain open to my friends today, sharing both my worries and my joys.
You are reading from the book:
A Life of My Own by Karen Casey. © 1993 by Hazelden Foundation

Sept. 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017

...I was convinced that I was having a serious mental breakdown. I wanted help, and I tried to cooperate. As the treatment progressed, I began to get a picture of myself, of the temperament that had caused me so much trouble. I had been hypersensitive, shy, idealistic. My inability to accept the harsh realities of life had resulted in a disillusioned cynic, clothed in a protective armor against the world's misunderstanding. That armor had turned into prison walls, locking me in loneliness - and fear. All I had left was an iron determination to live my own life in spite of the alien world - and here I was an inwardly frightened, outwardly defiant woman, who desperately needed a prop to keep going.
'Alcohol was that prop ...'" - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Alcoholics Anonymous Number Three, Ch 4 ("Women Suffer Too"), p 226.

Today, with absolute honesty - maybe for the first time - the temperament of my character misguided me to make the choice of alcohol as the prop to shield myself from "the world's misunderstanding" and all else I wanted to shut out. In shutting out everything, I went to the only place left - within myself. And there lurked the isolation from anything good, and the loss of good leaves only the bad. My choice was to develop and nurture the bad - and it took me to the darkest places of my poisoned emotional and spiritual soul. Today, the temperament of my character can be tempered by the Twelve Steps. Grant me courage and strength to emerge from the bad and look for the good. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Sept. 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Let us continue with Step Twelve. We must practice these principles in all our affairs. This part of the twelfth step must not be overlooked. It is the carrying on of the whole program. We do not just practice these principles in regard to our drinking problem. We practice them in all our affairs. We do not give one compartment of our lives to God and keep the other compartments to ourselves. We give our whole lives to God and we try to do His will in every respect. "Herein lies our growth, herein lies all the promise of the future, an ever-widening horizon."

Do I carry the AA principles with me wherever I go?

Meditation for the Day
"Lord, to whom shall we go but to Thee? Thou hast the words of eternal life." The words of eternal life are the words from God controlling your true being, controlling the real spiritual you. They are the words from God which are heard by you in your heart and mind when these are wide open to His spirit. These are the words of eternal life which express the true way you are to live. They say to you in the stillness of your heart and mind and soul: "Do this and live."

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may follow the dictates of my conscience. I pray that I may follow the inner urging of my soul.
Hazelden Foundation