Thursday, July 27, 2017

July 27, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Thursday, July 27, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

. . . what we want more deeply than winning.

When our relationship is in conflict, we may think that our partner always has the last word. We think it would feel good, just once, to come out on top. If our relationship is like a poker game, the winner takes all. We scramble to be the winner at almost any cost. If our partner wins, we feel like the loser. If we score a point, then our partner feels like the loser. In the end, if either one has lost, what have we won? Certainly not serenity.

What do we really want in our relationships? Do we want to stay in the fight until we score the final knockout? No. We want companionship and connection. To get beyond the game, one partner must stand up and say what she or he wants more deeply than winning. When we stand in favor of communication, our relationship improves.

Name what you really want in your relationship.
You are reading from the book:
The More We Find in Each Other by Merle Fossum and Mavis Fossum. © 1992 by Hazelden Foundation

July 27, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, July 27, 2017

"What is this power that AA possesses? This curative power? I don't know what it is. I suppose the doctor might say, 'This is psychosomatic medicine.' I suppose the psychiatrist might say, 'This is benevolent interpersonal relations.' I suppose others would say, 'This is group psychotherapy.'
To me, it is God." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part II ("They Stopped in Time"), Ch 6 ("Physician, Heal Thyself!"), p 352.

Today, how many more voices of experience must I hear until I simply consider the possibility of a higher power if I am still struggling with the concept? If I continue to listen skeptically to the many voices of those who have recovered by giving their will to a higher power, maybe I can simply trust the AA command to "Keep It Simple" - simply take a leap of nothing but blind faith that something as good can exist if something as evil as alcohol can bring me to my knees. But if I still resist those voices of experience, hopefully I can muster the honesty to see that doing things my way hasn't worked and that maybe something outside myself can do a better job. Today, I seek if nothing else the blind faith to trust the voices of experience or, at least, my own history of not doing such a great job on my own. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

July 27, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, July 27, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
To paraphrase the psalm: "We alcoholics declare the power of liquor and drunkenness showeth its handiwork. Day unto day uttereth hangovers and night unto night showeth suffering. The law of AA is perfect, converting the drunk. The testimony of AA is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of AA are right, rejoicing the heart. The program of AA is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the first drink is clean, enduring forever."

Have I any doubt about the power of liquor?

Meditation for the Day
"Walk humbly with thy Lord." Walking with God means practicing the presence of God in your daily affairs. It means asking God for strength to face each new day. It means turning to Him often during the day in prayer for yourself and for other people. It means thanking Him at night for the blessings you have received during the day. Nothing can seriously upset you if you are "walking with God." You can believe that He is beside you in spirit, to help you and to guide you on your way.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may try to walk humbly with God. I pray that I may turn to Him often as to a close friend.

Hazelden Foundation

July 27, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Thursday, July 27, 2017

Reflection for the Day
Over and over, I see that those who make the best and steadiest progress in The Program are those who readily accept the help of a Higher Power. Once they can do that, it's easier for them to get out of their own way. Their problems then seem to resolve themselves in a way that is beyond human understanding.

Do I realize that the effectiveness with which I use the consciousness of God in my daily life depends not on Him, but on me?

Today I Pray
May I know that my recovery and growth depend on my being in touch with my Higher Power, not just once in a while, but always. It means turning to that Power several times a day to ask for strength and knowledge of His will. When I understand that my own life is part of a Higher Plan, I will be less apt to trip and fall, head off in the wrong direction, or just to sit tight and let life pass me by.

Today I Will Remember
To be God-conscious.

Hazelden Foundation

July 27, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, July 27, 2017

Everything you can buy with money will either die, rot, wither, evaporate or decay. There is nothing you can purchase that will surely last as long as you will, unless it be bad health.

Friends can be bought, not with money, but by a liberal expenditure of yourself. A dollar is a poor weapon to fight off real troubles.

God is Good and the truly Good things of this life were put here on earth for our use by Him and not one of them carries a price tag.

Hazelden Foundation

July 27, 2017 - Good morning to a beautiful Thursday of renewed hope, faith and strength


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

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

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Some days I feel like a tightrope walker.
 -- Jeannette N.


We all perform a balancing act, trying to keep perspective on what's important and what is not. Sometimes we fall - crazy drivers cut into our lane, the supermarket line takes forever, the baby's crying. At those times a minor insult at work or a cross word from a friend is just too much, and we lose our cool - and our balance.

During our years of active addiction we were impulsive, living in an all-or-nothing, black-and-white world, completely out of balance. Minor slights became major issues. We were subject to any whim our distorted thoughts cooked up.

We've had lots of practice being out of balance, so we have to work harder to regain it, but now we have the tools to change. Our program gives us a new focus, reminds us of what's important in our lives. We're reminded, too, of our powerlessness over people, places, and things. These ideas are new to us at first. We thought we had to control everything and everyone around us, and so we failed. But now we're learning how to keep our balance, and recover it when we've lost it. With practice, we'll get better every day. Now, we're learning how to let go and let God.

Today help me remember what's important. Help me keep my balance.
You are reading from the book:
Body, Mind, and Spirit © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation

July 26, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

" ...(T)his program is not for sissies for ...it takes a man to make the grade. It is not too difficult nor easy to grasp. I have had many more reasons to drink since I have been in AA than I had in all the years of my drinking. I've had more problems but, thank God, I have had the teachings of AA with which to face them. ...When I hear the more rugged stories of alcoholics who became sicker than I did with this affliction, I humbly thank God for showing me 'the handwriting on the wall.'" - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part II ("They Stopped in Time"), Ch 8 ("Rum, Radio and Television"), p 367.

Todaya program that is not without work, that working it takes more courage than to keep drinking and that being sober will not shield us from the problems that non-alcoholics face but will arm us with stronger combat ammunition. I will heed the word of the experienced and not set myself up for a slip or relapse if the promises of the program don't come quickly enough to me - because I haven't worked for those promises. Nor will I dismiss the program that it doesn't work when I face the problems that everyone else has. Problems will continue to arise; how I handle them will depend on how I work the program. For as courageous and bold my decision to stop drinking, I need even more to graduate from being dry to sober. Today, I'm ready to give it my all, to "go to any lengths." And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
When we come to the end of our lives on earth, we will take no material thing with us. We will not take one cent in our cold, dead hands. The only things that we may take are the things we have given away. If we have helped others, we may take that with us; if we have given of our time and money for the good of AA, we may take that with us. Looking back over our lives, what are we proud of? Not what we have gained for ourselves, but what few good deeds we have done. Those are the things that really matter in the long run.

What will I take with me when I go?

Meditation for the Day
"Hallowed be Thy Name." What does that mean to us? Here "name" is used in the sense of "spirit." The words mean praise to God for His spirit in the world, making us better. We should be especially grateful for God's spirit, which gives us the strength to overcome all that is base in our lives. His spirit is powerful. It can help us to live a conquering, abundant life. So we praise and thank Him for His spirit in our lives and in the lives of others.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be grateful for God's spirit in me. I pray that I may try to live in accordance with it.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Reflection for the Day
Now that I avail myself of the letters H-O-W suggested by friends in The Program - Honesty, Open-Mindedness, Willingness - I see things differently. In ways that I couldn't have predicted and surely never expected, I've come to see things quite differently from the person I was before coming to The Program. I feel good most days. I seldom feel bad, and never for long. Certainly never as bad as I used to feel all of the time.

Is my worst day now infinitely better than my best day previously?

Today I Pray
May I remember today to say "thank you" to my Higher Power, to my friends in the group and to the whole, vast fellowship of recovering chemically dependent persons for making me know that things do get better. I give thanks, too, for those verbal boosters, the tags and slogans which have so often burst into my brain at exactly the moments when they were needed, redefining my purpose, restoring my patience, reminding me of my God.

Today I Will Remember
How it was.

Hazelden Foundation

July 26, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Patience is a virtue that few alcoholics have. We want to do everything yesterday. Even after we sober up, we seldom acquire any substantial amount of this virtue. We feel a real need to make up for all our lost years; we fret and fume over delays; we feel the world should synchronize their watches with ours.

Like Phillips Brooks, we are in a hurry, but God isn't.

Hazelden Foundation

July 26, 2017 - Good morning to a Wednesday we trust will bring renewed hope, faith and strength


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

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

Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

No matter what faces us - an unhappy relationship, a serious operation or illness, a feeling of uselessness or helplessness - it is vital to realize that there is a solution.

We must not expect that the solution to our problem will bring us immediate peace of mind. Focusing our energies and emotions on the answer, not the problem, will, however, alleviate much of the futility and frustration we feel.

A medical doctor, George S. Stevenson, wrote, "The solution may not give you everything you want. Sometimes, it may give you nothing but a chance to start all over again. But whatever little it gives you is much more than you give yourself by letting your emotions tear you apart."

Today I will focus my energies and emotions on the solution, not the problem. I will allow the solution to flow through me, with the help of my Higher Power, knowing there is a satisfactory answer to my difficulty.
You are reading from the book:
The Reflecting Pond by Liane Cordes. © 1981 by Hazelden Foundation

July 25, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Todayself-pity comes off my dance card. Just as alcohol drove me to being sick and tired of being sick and tired, so it goes with self-pity. The reason for self-pity can never be justified. For me, self-pity ranks behind resentment as the quickest and surest way to a slip or relapse. I have to ask why I harbor pity for myself. Is it because I endured so many travails during and after my drinking days? Or maybe I lost a job or two, got a lifetime driver's license suspension, drank my way into a sea of debt, got a divorce or two, have family who still wants nothing to do with me. Or maybe there's a more "acceptable" reason like death taking too much from me. And what is the function of self-pity? Maybe my ego still requires me to be the center of attention, or maybe I have a victim complex, or maybe I'm looking for justification to start drinking again - or to keep drinking. Or maybe I simply don't know how to deal with whatever psychic pain exists. Whatever its reason or purpose, self-pity serves only to impose isolation and keeps me from feeling and living something better. Today, just as it did with drinking, the same goes for self-pity: enough's enough! And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
We are living on borrowed time. We are living today because of AA and the grace of God. And what there is left of our lives we owe to AA and to God. We should make the best use we can of our borrowed time and in some small measure pay back for that part of our lives which we wasted before we came into AA. Our lives from now on are not our own. We hold them in trust for God and AA. And we must do all we can to forward the great movement that has given us a new lease on life.

Am I holding my life in trust for AA?

Meditation for the Day
You should hold your life in trust for God. Think deeply on what that means. Is anything too much to expect from such a life? Do you begin to see how dedicated a life on trust for God can be? In such a life, miracles can happen. If you are faithful, you can believe that God has many good things in store for you. God can be Lord of your life, controller of your days, of your present and your future. Try to act as God guides and leave all results to Him. Do not hold back, but go all out for God and the better life. Make good your trust.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may hold my life in trust for God. I pray that I may no longer consider my life as all my own.

Hazelden Foundation