Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Jan. 16, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

The first skill needed for the Inner Game is called “letting it happen.” This means gradually building a trust in the innate ability of your body to learn and to perform.
 — W. Timothy Gallwey


A strange and intriguing mystery confronts us in the Twelve Steps. We are mending our ways; we are becoming accountable; we are striving to do what is right, yet we are learning to let go. This seems like a contradiction of logic, but it leads us to a spiritual awakening.

We are becoming like the accomplished tennis player who has practiced diligently to develop every detail of his skill. Yet when he is playing the game, he cannot focus on control. He must get his ego out of the way and let himself go. It is in letting go that he rises to his highest level of fulfillment. Today we will do what we must. We can make the choices we are faced with. Then we allow ourselves to be carried along by our Higher Power to complete and fulfill the process.

I will look for opportunities to let it happen today.

You are reading from the book:
Touchstones ©1986, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 16, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018
 

"Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." - Step Four

Todaythe Fourth Step, if not one of the most intimidating of the 12 Steps, one of the most gut-wrenching. In even hoping to take this one on productively and honestly, I must be certain  that I have exercised Steps One, Two and Three to the best of my ability because, if I haven't, the consequences of taking the Fourth could be devastating. In beginning my moral inventory, may I have the wisdom to ask my higher power for the courage, strength, honesty and objectivity to be as searching as I can. And let me remember that the Fourth asks for a moral accounting, not an immoral one, and of myself and not of another person. And making it objective is the reason I should take it with a sponsor or, at least, someone I trust unconditionally. Today, my inventory will be "searching" and, however intimidating, "fearless." And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

Jan. 16, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
The AA program is more a way of building a new life than just a way of getting over drinking because, in AA, we don't just stop drinking. We did that plenty of times in the old days when we "went on the wagon." And, of course, we always started to drink again because we were only waiting for the time when we could fall off. Once we've got sober through the AA program, we start going uphill. In our drinking days, we were going downhill, getting worse and worse. We either go down or up.

Am I going uphill, getting better and better?

Meditation for the Day
I will try to obey God's will day in and day out, in the wilderness plains as well as on the mountaintops of experience. It is in the daily strivings that perseverance counts. I believe that God is Lord of little things, the Divine Controller of little happenings. I will persevere in this new way of life. I know that nothing in the day is too small to be part of God's scheme.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that the little stone which I put into the mosaic of my life may make a worthwhile pattern. I pray that I may persevere and so find harmony and beauty.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 16, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018

Reflection for the Day
When we first came to The Program, whether for ourselves or under pressure from others, some of us were all but sickened by the concept of "surrender." To admit defeat flew in the face of our lifelong beliefs. We thought of the immortal rallying cries of Churchill at Dunkirk, of FDR following the attack on Pearl Harbor. And so we secretly vowed, at first, that the very idea of surrender was unthinkable.

Have I truly come to believe that only through utter defeat am I able to take the first steps toward liberation and strength? Or do I still harbor reservations about the principle of "letting go and letting God ...?"

Today I Pray
May I really believe that the complete surrender of my whole being to a Higher Power is the way to serenity. For I can be whole only in Him, who has the power to make me whole. May I do away with any feelings of wanting to "hold out" and never admit defeat. May I unlearn the old adage which tells me that I must "never give up" and realize that such pridefulness could keep me from recovery.

Today I Will Remember
From Wholly His to Whole.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 16, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018

We are definitely what we think - as a man thinketh, so is he. The trick for all of us is to cull out of our thinking those thoughts that are injurious to us and to retain those that are beneficial.

We conceive our own thoughts, we give them birth, we nourish and sustain them - they are our brain children. Our lives become intertwined with them, and their influence on us and our behavior is enormous.

The thoughts we have must be purely conceived, carefully trained, well disciplined and encouraged. In so doing, we surround ourselves with a group of brain children whose influence on our lives brings the happy results we can hopefully expect.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 16, 2018 - Good morning to Tuesday with absolute confidence and hope


Monday, January 15, 2018

Jan. 15, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, Jan. 15, 2018
Today's thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

We all carry it within us; supreme strength, the fullness of wisdom, unquenchable joy. It is never thwarted and cannot be destroyed. But it is hidden deep, which is what makes life a problem.
--Huston Smith


How does one lose touch with his strength, his wisdom, and his joy? Perhaps it is in the nature of humanity. Our most profound qualities are hidden deep. They never go away, but we cannot always find them. There may be nothing wrong with us when we lose touch. It doesn't have to mean that we are "bad" for getting depressed or for feeling inadequate. Who doesn't have that problem? It is the nature of life that we sometimes feel this way. This program helps us unearth the resources hidden within us.

When we cannot find those reassuring feelings of strength and wisdom and joy, we may think they are gone forever. We even doubt we ever had them or could have them again. But they are still there. They cannot be destroyed. And when we regain contact we know they have been with us all along.

I will have faith that the innermost places in me can never be destroyed.
You are reading from the book:

Touchstones ©1986, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 15, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, Jan. 15, 2018 

"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him." - Step Three

Today, for the alcoholic stumbling out of the fog of an extended drunk, there could be a problem with the use of the word "God" with a capital "G" and the reference to Him with a capital "H." "God" and "Him" smack of religious connotations, a potential turnoff to the person new to the program. But recovery is a spiritual, not religious process, and the God referenced here could be the "power" evoked in Step Two - and that power stronger than ourselves could be something as simple as our awakening to the reality that we could not sober up on our own. But Step Three requires another action - surrendering to something unseen but which, by sheer faith, is stronger than us. Step Three leads us to the admission that we are powerless over what we cannot control and have come to believe in a power greater than ourselves - and then entrusting ourselves to the care of that stronger power. Today, my decision is to turn my will and my life over to that force that I trust - on sheer faith - will handle me better than I ever could. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

Jan. 15, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Jan. 15, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
The AA program is a way of life. It's a way of living and we have to learn to live the program if we're going to stay sober. The Twelve Steps in the book are like guideposts. They point the direction in which we have to go. But all members of the group have to find their own best way to live the program. We don't all do it exactly alike. Whether by quiet times in the morning, meetings, working with others or spreading the word, we have to learn to live the program.

Has the AA way become my regular, natural way of living?

Meditation for the Day
I will relax and not get tense. I will have no fear because everything will work out in the end. I will learn soul-balance and poise in a vacillating, changing world. I will claim God's power and use it because if I do not use it, it will be withdrawn. As long as I get back to God and replenish my strength after each task, no work can be too much.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may relax and that God's strength will be given to me. I pray that I may subject my will to God's will and be free from all tenseness.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 15, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, Jan. 15, 2018

Reflection for the Day
I must never forget who and what I am and where I come from. I have to remember the nature of my illness and what it was like before I came to The Program. I'll try to keep the memory green, yet not spend my time dwelling morbidly on the past. I won't be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to others, so others will give to me.

Can I ever afford to forget what it used to be like, even for one minute?

Today I Pray
May I never forget the painful days of my addiction. May I never forget that the same misery awaits me if I should slip back into the old patterns. At the same time, may such backwards glances serve only to bolster my own present strength and the strength of others like me. Please, God, do not let me dredge up these recollections in order to outdo or "out-drunk" my fellow members. Like others who are chemically dependent, I must be wary of my desire to be center stage in the spotlight.

Today I Will Remember
I do more when I don't "outdo."

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 15, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, Jan. 15, 2018

Looking back at our ambitions and aspirations, we can recall many things we wanted and which we thought would make our lives complete. Some of them were impossible; they were the offspring of childish dreams and, later on, alcoholic wishing. Some of those things were possible for others but unattainable for us with our limited abilities.

We can now accept the fact that those things were not for us and wouldn't have been good for us if we had had them. Some of them we obtained and wished we hadn't. Their realizations were nothing compared to our expectations and, the more we got, the more we wanted. Ambitions were never realized because the more we advanced, the more the horizons receded.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 15, 2018 - Time for an awesome Monday and great new week of new hope and faith


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Jan. 14, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Step Two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

 -- Step Two of Al-Anon

We come to believe in a better life through the powerful gift of other people - hearing them, seeing them, and watching the gift of recovery at work in their lives. There is a Power greater than us. There is real hope now that things can and will be different and better for our life and us.

We are not in a "do it ourselves" program. We do not have to exert willpower to change. We do not have to force our recovery to happen. We do not have to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps just so we believe that there is a Power greater than ourselves - one who will get the job done in our life. This Power will do for us what our greatest and most diligent efforts could not accomplish.

Our Higher Power will restore us to a sane and beneficial life. All we do is believe.

Look. Watch. See the people around you. See the healing they have found. Then discover your own faith, your own belief, your own healing.

Today, regardless of my circumstances, I will believe to the best of my ability that a Power greater than myself can and will restore me to a peaceful, sane way of living.
You are reading from the book:

The Language of Letting Go © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 14, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018 

"Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." Step Two

Today, I tried it my way, and it didn't work - frequently. But what "power" if not me? If I cannot believe in either a religious or secular "god," can I believe that the greater power is as simple as my own self-awakening to the powerlessness that I have admitted in Step One? If I can, I must accept that the phrase "restore us to sanity" implies I am insane. Am I? If I define insanity as expecting or hoping for a better outcome of repeat behavior that has always led to the same outcome, then, yes, I am insane. Today, the power greater than myself can be as simple as my own awakening to my powerlessness, and I can hope that same power can pull me from the insanity of the myth of a better outcome of conduct that has always led to disastrous results. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

Jan. 14, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
When we first came into AA, a sober life seemed strange. We wondered what life could possibly be like without ever taking a drink. At first, a sober life seemed unnatural. But the longer we're in AA, the more natural this way of life seems. And now we know that the life we're living in AA, the sobriety, the fellowship, the faith in God and the trying to help each other, is the most natural way we could possibly live.
Do I believe it's the way God wants me to live?

Meditation for the Day
I will learn to overcome myself, because every blow to selfishness is used to shape the real, eternal, unperishable me. As I overcome myself, I gain that power which God releases in my soul. And I, too, will be victorious. It is not the difficulties of life that I have to conquer so much as my own selfishness.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may obey God and walk with Him and listen to Him. I pray that I may strive to overcome my own selfishness.

Hazelden Foundation