Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Nov. 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

I came to understand that it was all right to do things for people as long as I did it for the sake of doing it... the value being more in the act than in the result.
 -- Joanna Field


We've all heard the sentiment that it is better to give than to receive. Yet we may find it difficult to give to others, whether that giving involves an actual gift or an act of giving of ourselves: caring for someone who is ill, running an errand for someone, giving a backrub, or extending an invitation to someone who is alone.

We may feel afraid to do for others without any expectations of receiving something in return. To give unselfishly exposes our feelings and shows we care. Yet if we can look beyond our fears to the selflessness of our giving actions, there is a great reward -- knowing we had the courage to risk giving to someone.

The risks we take in giving to others are lessons for ourselves as well as for those whose lives we touch.

The gift of giving opens doors to the homes of our souls.
You are reading from the book:
Night Light by Amy E. Dean. © 1986, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017

"Here was - power! ...(T)o live to the end of any given day, power to have the courage to face the next day, power to have friends, power to help people, power to be sane, power to stay sober. That was seven years ago - and many AA meetings ago - and I haven't had a drink during those seven years. ...What is this power? With my AA friends, all I can say is that it's a power greater than myself." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "They Stopped in Time," Ch 16 ("Me An Alcoholic?"), pp 436-37.

Today, powerless over alcohol - not powerless over everything. In surrendering in Step One, I have begun to reclaim the power to take back what my powerlessness over what alcohol cost. I can assert my power not to be controlled by alcohol simply by not drinking. I can take back the power to face the new day with full memory of the day and night before, and I can work for the power to overcome powerlessness, helplessness and hopelessness. The power that is at my command is in the choices I make, and the benefit to have choices is a gift - graced on me by whatever power is greater than myself. Today, while I must acknowledge that over which I am powerless - alcohol - let me respect the power I do possess. God grant that I use it wisely. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Nov. 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
I no longer waste money, but try to put it to good use. Like all of us, when I was drunk, I threw money around like I really had it. It gave me a feeling of importance - a millionaire for a day. But the morning after, with an empty wallet and perhaps also some undecipherable checks, was a sad awakening. How could I have been such a fool? How will I ever make it up? Thoughts like these get you down. When we are sober, we spend our hard-earned money as it should be spent. Although perhaps some of us could be more generous in our AA giving, at least we do not throw it away.

Am I making good use of my money?

Meditation for the Day
You were meant to be at home and comfortable in the world. Yet some people live a life of quiet desperation. This is the opposite of being at home and at peace in the world. Let your peace of mind be evident to those around you. Let others see that you are comfortable and, seeing it, know that it springs from your trust in a Higher Power. The dull, hard way of resignation is not God's way. Faith takes the sting out of the winds of adversity and brings peace even in the midst of struggle.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be more comfortable in my way of living. I pray that I may feel more at home and at peace within myself.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017
A Day at a Time
Reflection for the Day
Adversity introduces man to himself, a poet once said. For me, the same is true of even imagined adversity. If I expect another person to react in a certain way in a given situation - and he or she fails to meet my expectation - well, then I hardly have the right to be disappointed or angry. Yet I occasionally still experience feelings of frustration when people don't act or react as I think they should. Through such imagined - or, better yet, self-inflicted - adversity, I come face to face again with my old self - the one who wanted to run the whole show.
Is it time for me to finally stop expecting and to start accepting?
Today I Pray
May I stop putting words in people's mouths, programming them - in my own mind - to react as I expect them to. Expectations have fooled me before: I expected unbounded love and protection from those close to me, perfection from myself, undivided attention from casual acquaintances. On the adverse side, I expected failure from myself, and rejection from others. May I stop borrowing trouble - or triumph either - from the future.
Today I Will Remember
Accept. Don't expect.
Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017

If a reasonable estimate could be made of the fatalities resulting from excessive drinking, the figures would be appalling. This loss, however, is only a small part of the price that Bacchus exacts.

The wasted man-hours of work, the homes broken up, the wealth of talent that was never developed, and the loss of moral character are also a part of the bill.

You definitely can't drink moderately. Can you afford to drink to excess?

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 21, 2017 - Rise 'n shine to Tuesday with new confidence, gratitude, faith and hope


Monday, November 20, 2017

Nov. 20, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, Nov. 20, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
Coping with Families

There are many paths to self-care with families. Some people choose to sever connections with family members for a period of time. Some people choose to stay connected with family members and learn different behaviors. Some disconnect for a time, and then return slowly on a different basis.

There is no one or perfect way to deal with members of our family in recovery. It is up to each of us to choose a path that suits us and our needs at each point in time.

The idea that is new to us in recovery is that we can choose. We can set the boundaries we need to set with family members. We can choose a path that works for us, without guilt and obligation or undue influence from any source, including recovery professionals. Our goal is to be able to take care of ourselves, love ourselves, and live healthy lives despite what family members do or don't do. We decide what boundaries or decisions are necessary to do this.

God, help me choose the path that is right for me with family. Help me understand there is no right or wrong in this process. Help me strive for forgiveness and learn to detach with love, whenever possible. I understand that this never implies that I have to forfeit self-care and health for the good of the system.
You are reading from the book:
The Language of Letting Go © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 20, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, Nov. 20, 2017

" ...(T)he man with the grown-up brain and the childish emotions - vanity, self-interest,  false pride,  jealousy,  longing for social approval,  to name a few - become a prime candidate for alcohol. ...(T)hat is the definition of alcoholism: a state of being in which the emotions have failed to grow to the stature of the intellect. ...(T)here are some alcoholics who seem terribly, terribly grown-up, but ...they are trying to make themselves think they are grown-up, and the strain of their effort is what is causing them to drink - a sense of inadequacy, a childish vanity to be the most popular, the most sought after, the mostest of the most. And all this, of course, is, in the popular modern jargon, 'compensation' for immaturity'." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 1976, "They Lost Nearly All," Ch 11 ("He Who Loses His Life"), pp 534-35.

Today: " ...emotions have failed to grow to the stature of the intellect." Somewhere along the line, something impeded my emotional development that lent itself vulnerable to a false "stimulus" - alcohol. Accepting that my alcoholism is partly an emotional disease, I also must accept that abstinence by itself is not enough to recover. And this is when I must look to the First and Second Steps - to accept my powerlessness and open myself to the possibility of a higher power that might show me the way. Such is the basis of recovery. Without surrender to these two basic but essential steps, the emotions that contributed to my flawed character likely will not heal. Today, I pray for the healing to begin. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Nov. 20, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Nov. 20, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
I no longer try to escape life through alcoholism. Drinking built up an unreal world for me and I tried to live in it. But in the morning light, the real life was back again, and facing it was harder than ever because I had less resources with which to meet it. Each attempt at escape weakened my personality by the very attempt. Everyone knows that alcohol, by relaxing inhibitions, permits a flight from reality. Alcohol deadens the brain cells that preside over our highest faculties and we are off to the unreal world of drunkenness. AA taught me not to run away, but to face reality.

Have I given up trying to escape life?

Meditation for the Day
In these times of quiet meditation, try more and more to set your hopes on the grace of God. Know that whatever the future may hold, it will hold more and more of good. Do not set all your hopes and desires on material things. There is weariness in an abundance of things. Set your hopes on spiritual things so that you may grow spiritually. Learn to rely on God's power more and more and, in that reliance, you will have an insight into the greater value of the things of the spirit.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not be overwhelmed by material things. I pray that I may realize the higher value of spiritual things.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 20, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, Nov. 20, 2017

Reflection for the Day
I've come to measure success in a whole new way. My success today isn't limited by social or economic benchmarks. Success is mine today, no matter what the undertaking, when I tap the power of God within me and allow myself to be an open channel for the expression of His good. The spirit of success works through me as increased vision and understanding, as creative ideas and useful service - as efficient use of my time and energy, and as cooperative effort with others.

Will I try to keep my mind centered in the realization that within me is the God-implanted power to succeed?

Today I Pray
May I develop a new concept of success, based on measurements of the good qualities which come from God's treasure-filled bank of good. To draw from that bank, all I have to do is look within myself. May I know that God's riches are the only kind that are fully insurable, because they are infinite. May I look in God's bank for my security.

Today I Will Remember
Spiritual "success" is my security.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 20, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, Nov. 20, 2017

Man has within him something that is higher than man, and we can lift ourselves beyond our physical and human status in becoming absorbed by the highest instincts in ourselves.

Man is mortal, it is true, but you surpass man when you live in strict accordance with the God-like characteristics you possess.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 20, 2017 - Good morning to Monday and a holiday week with confidence, gratitude, hope and faith


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Nov. 19, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Differences

. . . with no hidden cutting edge


The respect and dignity a couple show each other set the table from which they are nourished for all other activities in their lives. Any feeling can be expressed in respectful or disrespectful ways. Anger is one of the most difficult to express respectfully. Everyone feels frustrated and angry at times. The crucial thing to learn is how to be angry and still be respectful - how to deal with our impatience without blame or put-downs. Many of us have to learn how to love without being possessive, how to be playful in a lighthearted way with no hidden cutting edge. When we treat our partner with disrespect, we pour poison into our own well. It may feel satisfying at first, but the long-term consequences are not good to live with.

When we are committed to respect in our relationship, we continue to learn at even deeper levels what respect truly means. We find that simply listening to each other - and letting in our differences - is a form of respect that nourishes us.

Name a difference between you and someone close to you that you respect.
You are reading from the book:
52 Weeks of Conscious Contact © 2003 by Melody Beattie

Nov. 19, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017

" ...(T)he main problem of the alcoholic centers in his mind, rather than in his body. If you ask him why he started on that last bender, the chance are he will offer you any one of a hundred alibis. Sometimes these excuses have a certain plausibility, but none of them really makes sense in the light of the havoc an alcoholic's drinking bout creates. They sound like the philosophy of the man who, having a headache, beats himself on the head with a hammer so that he can't feel the ache." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 2 ("There Is a Solution"), p 23.

Today, I will not waste time asking why I set out on the pattern of drinking that led me to where I am today. The answer is simple and obvious: I am an alcoholic. And if a gnawing question persists why I am an alcoholic, the answer probably lies in my Fourth Step. How many mornings, days and nights did I beat myself on the head with a hammer so I couldn't feel the ache of physical, emotional and spiritual agony? In the program, I am armed with an arsenal to counter that agony, to focus not so much on how to live without alcohol but to recover in sobriety. Why did I set off that pattern of drinking that got me here, in this program? I am alcoholic. That simple. Today, I can deal with it. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Nov. 19, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
In AA, we do not speak much of sex. And yet putting sex in its proper place in our lives is one of the rewards that has come to us as a result of our new way of living. The Big Book says that many of us needed an overhauling there. It also says that we subjected each sex relation to this test - was it selfish or not? "We remembered always that our sex powers were God-given and therefore good, neither to be given and therefore good, neither to be used lightly nor selfishly, nor to be despised or loathed." We can ask God to mold our ideals and to help us to live up to them. We can act accordingly.

Have I got my sex life under proper control?

Meditation for the Day
"I will lift up my eyes unto the heights whence cometh my help." Try to raise your thoughts from the depths of the sordid and mean and impure things of the earth to the heights of goodness and decency and beauty. Train your insight by trying to take the higher view. Train it more and more until distant heights become more familiar. The heights of the Lord, whence cometh your help, will become nearer and dearer and the false values of the earth will seem farther away.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not keep my eyes forever downcast. I pray that I may set my sights on higher things.

Hazelden Foundation