Friday, April 20, 2018

April 20, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Friday, April 20, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Taking Care of Ourselves

It’s healthy, wise, and loving to be considerate and responsive to the feelings and needs of others. That’s different from caretaking. Caretaking is a self-defeating and, certainly, a relationship defeating behavior – a behavior that backfires and can cause us to feel resentful and victimized – because ultimately, what we feel, want, and need will come to the surface.

Some people seem to invite emotional caretaking. We can learn to refuse the invitation. We can be concerned; we can be loving, when possible; but we can place value on our own needs and feelings too. Part of recovery means learning to pay attention to, and place importance on, what we feel, want, and need, because we begin to see that there are clear, predictable, and usually undesirable consequences when we don’t.

Be patient and gentle with yourself as you learn to do this. Be understanding with yourself when you slip back into the old behavior of emotional caretaking and self-neglect.

But stop the cycle today. We do not have to feel responsible for others. We do not have to feel guilty about not feeling responsible for others. We can even learn to let ourselves feel good about taking responsibility for our needs and feelings.

Today, I will evaluate whether I’ve slipped into my old behavior of taking responsibility for another’s feelings and needs, while neglecting my own. I will own my power, right, and responsibility to place value on myself.
You are reading from the book:
The Language of Letting Go © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation

April 20, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Friday, April 20, 2018

Today, small steps instead of an "easier, softer way" - giant leaps toward the goal of recovery. Alcoholism and its physical, emotional and spiritual diseases developed over time, and their solution is likely to take as much if not more time. But impatience is a characteristic of most alcoholics, and it cannot be allowed to tempt us to take the short route through the steps toward sobriety. Failing to give full and complete attention to each step may set us up for frustration and disappointment - and together they put us at risk for a slip or relapse. Today, wisdom of patience in taking the steps one by one and understanding that it is through working them that we earn what we pursue. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

April 20, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, April 20, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
The satisfaction you get out of living a sober life is made up of a lot of little things, but they add up to a satisfactory and happy life. You take out of life what you put into it. So I'd say to people coming into AA: "Don't worry about what life will be like without liquor. Just hang in there and a lot of good things will happen to you. And you'll have that feeling of quiet satisfaction and peace and serenity and gratitude for the grace of God."

Is my life becoming really worth living?

Meditation for the Day
There are two paths, one up and one down. We have been given free will to choose either path. We are captains of our souls to this extent only. We can choose the good or the bad. Once we have chosen the wrong path, we go down and down, eventually to death. But if we choose the right path, we go up and up, until we come to the resurrection day. On the wrong path, we have no power for good because we do not choose to ask for it. But on the right path, we are on the side of good and we have all the power of God's spirit behind us.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be in the stream of goodness. I pray that I may be on the right side, on the side of all good in the universe.

Hazelden Foundation

April 20, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Friday, April 20, 2018

Reflection for the Day
"If a person continues to see only giants," wrote Anais Nin"it means he is still looking at the world through the eyes of a child." During this 24-hour period, I won't allow myself to be burdened by thoughts of giants and monsters - of things that are past. I won't concern myself about tomorrow until it becomes my today. The better I use today, the more likely it is that tomorrow will be bright.

Have I extended the hand of caring to another person today?

Today I Pray
God, may I please grow up. May I no longer see monsters and giants on my walls, those projections of a child's imagination. May I bury my hobgoblins and realize that those epic dream-monsters are distortions of my present fears. May they vanish with my fearfulness, in the daylight of my new serenity.

Today I Will Remember
I will put away childish fears.

Hazelden Foundation

April 20, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Friday, April 20, 2018

Your Area Headquarters can probably use some additional help on the desk or perhaps a receptionist to interview new people calling at the club for help. They probably have a pressing need for Twelve Steppers or people who have a car and are available a day a week. Maybe they could use some speakers or even chair setter-uppers.

How about your Group? It takes people to distribute and collect ash trays. It's possible you might come in handy preparing or distributing refreshments.

Whatever your talents are, it is a safe bet they can use you. Then the Group will become Your Group. Don't wait to be drafted - Volunteer.

Hazelden Foundation

April 20, 2018 - Finally! It's time for the fantastic Happy Dance Friday


Thursday, April 19, 2018

April 19, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Thursday, April 19, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Worry and Stress

“Make plans but don’t plan results.” This is a simple phrase cautioning us against unnecessary worry and stress.

If our plans involve other people, we would be wise to work joyfully toward realizing our dreams, but we should not expect or worry if others do not want the same goals. Nor should we worry if others are not as enthused about our ideas as we are. We know, by applying the Serenity Prayer, that we can only change ourselves; we cannot force changes in others.

Another cause of unnecessary stress in planning results comes from our ingrained habit of regarding ourselves as inadequate. All too often, those of us who make plans give up on ourselves when we predict the outcome of our dreams on the basis of our past experiences. We falsely conclude that because we failed or felt empty in the past, we’ll most certainly not succeed in the future; thus, we quit too soon and rationalize our resignation with a “Why bother to try?” attitude.

TODAY I will make plans but not plan results. I will work out my plan, one day at a time, knowing that my past performance is NOT an infallible indicator of my present or future success. I will look forward with hope, not despair.
You are reading from the book:
The Reflecting Pond by Liane Cordes. © 1981 by Hazelden Foundation

April 19, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, April 19, 2018

Today, gratitude that we have been given the gift to feel other than a hangover, the loss of focus and concentration, the fear of what we said and did last night but can't remember, fear of promises we cannot keep. All else, feel the good and bad, grateful for the good and remorse and regret for the bad. And if we feel the need to cry, cry with the good and the bad, but hold onto the good and use it as a stepping stone to tomorrow and ask the Higher Power to take from us the bad because we need not hold onto it any longer. If we feel anger, feel it - then let go and let God. If we feel resentment, we must not allow it to infect our today and threaten tomorrow. Instead, be grateful that we now have the choice to ask God to take from us that we should not hold onto. With all that we feel, the good will outweigh the bad and, because it does, we have no reason to drink, no reason to use. Live and do not wallow in today. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

April 19, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, April 19, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
Since I've been putting sobriety into my life, I've been taking out a lot of good things. I can describe it best as a kind of quiet satisfaction. I feel good. I feel right with the world, on the right side of the fence. As long as I put sobriety into my life, almost everything I take out is good. The satisfaction you get out of living a sober life is made up of a lot of little things. You have the ambition to do things you didn't feel like doing when you were drinking.

Am I getting satisfaction out of living a sober life?

Meditation for the Day
It is a glorious way - the upward way. There are wonderful discoveries in the realm of the spirit. There are tender intimacies in the quiet times of communion with God. There is an amazing, almost incomprehensible understanding of the other person. On the upward way, you can have all the strength you need from that Higher Power. You cannot make too many demands on Him for strength. He gives you all the power you need, as long as you are moving along the upward way.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may see the beautiful horizons ahead on the upward way. I pray that I may keep going forward to the more abundant life.

Hazelden Foundation

April 19, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Thursday, April 19, 2018

Reflection for the Day
As we continue to make these vital choices and so move toward these high aspirations, our sanity returns and the compulsion of our former addictions vanishes. We learn, in the words of Plutarch, that, "A pleasant and happy life does not come from external things. Man draws from within himself, as from a spring, pleasure and joy."

Am I learning to "travel first class" inside?

Today I Pray
The grace of God has showed me how to be happy again. May the wisdom of God teach me that the source of that happiness is within me, in my new values, my new sense of self-worth, my new and open communication with my Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember
Happiness comes from within.

Hazelden Foundation

April 19, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, April 19, 2018

All things in life are relative. Without night, there would be no day; without evil, there would be no good; without sorrow, there would be no joy.

Drunk or sober, clouds will occasionally appear on the horizon, but most of them will blow away. Storm will sometimes break upon us but, if we are prepared, we can ride it out and the rainbow will follow giving promise of better things ahead.

Yesterday's rain enhances our pleasure in today's sunshine.

Hazelden Foundation

April 19, 2018 - Rise 'n shine for a terrific Thursday with new determination and confidence


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

April 18, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water and breeds reptiles of the mind.
 — William Blake

We seek the answer. Sometimes we think we have found a central truth and later learn that beneath it is another truth. Or what seemed so crucial as a guiding principle for our lives last year is still true but not as crucial. It is like trying to take a snapshot of a changing world while the camera itself is changing.

Some of us in our hunger for security grab for “absolute” truths, which are not absolute. We must continue forever to be eager learners. In stepping across a stream from one floating log to another, we must resist the temptation to become overcommitted to staying in an especially secure looking place, or we will never reach the opposite shore. Even the Twelve Steps of this program are given to us as a “suggested” program of recovery. It is a program that works because it takes us out of our rigid ways. We are continually made new. That is the vitality of the spiritual life.

God, help me to be open to new opinions – to things I had never thought of on my own.
You are reading from the book:
Touchstones ©1986, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

April 18, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Today, recommit as a recovering member of the program and its members who confide their Fourth Step and all other communications. We must treat as private all things any members share and cannot "gossip" with anyone whatever another member says even if there is no stated promise of confidentiality. Failure to treat as private all matters involving any member is a show of disrespect to both the other person and the program, and disqualifies us as a credible 12th-Stepper. In recovery, we cannot expect that what we share will be a private communication if we do not convey the same respect of others. Today, sobriety carries the responsibility of loyalty, trust and respect of the program and its members - and they have it. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

April 18, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
As I look back over my drinking career, have I learned that you take out of life what you put into it? When I put drinking into my life, did I take out a lot of bad things? Hospitals with the DT's? Jails for drunken driving? Loss of job? Loss of home and family?

When I put drinking into my life, was almost everything I took out bad?

Meditation for the Day
I should strive for a friendliness and helpfulness that will affect all who come near to me. I should try to see something to love in them. I should welcome them, bestow little courtesies and understandings on them and help them if they ask for help. I must send no one away without a word of cheer, a feeling that I really care about them. God may have put the impulse in some despairing one's mind to come to me. I must not fail God by repulsing that person. They may not want to communicate with me unless they are sure of a warm welcome.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may warmly welcome all who come to me for help. I pray that I may make them feel that I really care.

Hazelden Foundation