Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Feb. 28, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

When you do all the talking you only learn what you already know.
 — Anonymous

One of the secrets for finding answers to any emotional problem is to talk with fellow members we can confide in fully. We don’t need to look any farther than our sponsor or the members who are part of our recovery. We quickly find those who always hear with a complete understanding about how we feel.

Such friends are perfect listeners because they have suffered and survived the same types of problems. They are compassionate and sympathetic. They listen to us patiently while we completely describe our emotions. Only then do they share details about how they survived. Just knowing that they understand is comforting to us.

My listeners can’t solve my problems for me. But they do show how they used the tools that are available in the Program to work through the same kinds of problems.

You are reading from the book:

Easy Does It © 1999 by Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 28, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018

Today, take the program from theoretical to practical application to both recovery and life. If I hear "Easy Does It," I cannot use it as "permission" to neglect daily responsibilities and what must be done today. Instead, it means not to expect too much of either myself or another person. And "Let Go and Let God" does not mean I can expect my higher power to tend to what is my responsibility and within my capability. Realize I am letting go of my own will for myself and letting God tell me what His will is for me. "One (drink) is one too many and never enough"  tells me, simply, not to try to find out what is "never enough" and not to try the first one at all. "Making amends"  isn't simply saying, "I'm sorry," but is acceptance of consequences and working harder if some of those amends are rejected. "One Day at a Time" is simple: today is all I've got and yesterday can't be undone or redone, and tomorrow is not guaranteed. Even it is, I have to give today my best shot because it may well reverberate into tomorrow. Today, move from theory to the practical, and it's time to roll up the sleeves. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

Feb. 28, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
We should be free from alcohol for good. It's out of our hands and in the hands of God, so we don't need to worry about it or even think about it any more. But if we haven't done this honestly and fully, the chances are that it will become our problem again. Since we don't trust God to take care of the problem for us, we reach out and take the problem back to ourselves. Then it's our problem again and we're in the same old mess we were in before. We're helpless again and we drink.

Do I trust God to take care of the problem for me?

Meditation for the Day
No work is of value without preparation. Every spiritual work must have behind it much spiritual preparation. Cut short times of prayer and times of spiritual preparation and many hours of work may be profitless. From the point of view of God, one poor tool working all the time but doing back work because of lack of preparation, is of small value compared with the sharp, keen, perfect instrument working for only a short time but which turns out perfect work because of long hours of spiritual preparation.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may spend more time alone with God. I pray that I may get more strength and joy from such times, so that they will add much to my work.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 28, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018

Reflection for the Day
We're taught in The Program and the Twelve Steps that the chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear - mainly fear that we would lose something we already possessed or that we would fail to get something we demanded. Living on the basis of unsatisfied demands, we obviously were in a state of continual disturbance and frustration. Therefore, we are taught, no peace will be ours unless we find a means of reducing these demands.

Have I become entirely ready to have God remove all my defects of character?

Today I Pray
May I make no unrealistic demands on life which, because of their grandiosity, cannot be met. May I place no excessive demands on others which, when they are not fulfilled, leave me disappointed and let down.

Today I Will Remember
The set-up for a let-down.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 28, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018

Many of us would have been ready to do something about our drinking problem years before we did, except for the obstinate determination not to allow the wife, mother or boss to tell us what to do.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 28, 2018 - Let's make it an awesome and drama-free Hump Day Wednesday


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Feb. 27, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

All animals except man know that the ultimate of life is to enjoy it.
 — Samuel Butler

If we take time to watch animals, we see that they have a zest for life that seems to engage them totally in whatever they are doing. A cat chasing its tail, a dog going after a ball, a horse running along the shore, a dolphin leaping and diving – all are actions that reveal energy and delight in simply being alive.

Life, we say, is to be enjoyed, but how many of us manage to put this theory into practice? We often associate pleasure with guilt or with acting out or with hurting or being hurt, and so we stand back from the full enjoyment of our power to be really alive.

Letting go of our shame and feelings of unworthiness will help us to let go and live. If we can tap into the spontaneity that runs through the animal kingdom, we will rediscover the sheer joy of being alive.

I’ll try to take time to watch animals at play and learn from their vitality and enjoyment.

You are reading from the book:

Answers in the Heart © 1989 by P. Williamson and S. Kiser

Feb. 27, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018

Today, gratitude to our Higher Power that we are the ones blessed with the grace to recover and a commitment to live only the current 24 Hours, not looking back to drag the emotional and physical damage of yesterday into today and not looking to tomorrow because it may never come. We embrace with gratitude, humility and a pledge to be of good to others than only ourselves that we are not among the casualties of alcoholics who did not survive their last drunk, who were not granted the choice we as survivors have been given -- recovery. And our common journey continues. Step by step. -- Chris M., 2018

Feb. 27, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
When we came into AA, the first thing we did was to admit that we couldn't do anything about our drinking. We admitted that alcohol had us licked and that we were helpless against it. We never could decide whether or not to take a drink. We always took the drink. And since we couldn't do anything about it ourselves, we put our whole drink problem into the hands of God. We turned the whole thing over to that Power greater than ourselves. And we have nothing more to do about it, except to trust God to take care of the problem for us.

Have I done this honestly and fully?

Meditation for the Day
This is the time for my spirit to touch the spirit of God. I know that the feeling of the spirit-touch is more important than all the sensation of material things. I must seek a silence of spirit-touching with God. Just a moment's contact and all the fever of life leaves me. Then I am well, whole, calm and able to rise and minister to others. God's touch is a potent healer. I must feel that touch and sense God's presence.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that the fever of resentment, worry and fear may melt into nothingness. I pray that health, joy, peace and serenity may take its place.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 27, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018

Reflection for the Day
If I live just one day at a time, I won't so quickly entertain fears of what might happen tomorrow. As long as I'm concentrating on today's activities, there won't be room in my mind for worrying. I'll try to fill every minute of this day with something good - seen, heard, accomplished. Then, when the day is ended, I'll be able to look back on it with satisfaction, serenity and gratitude.

Do I sometimes cherish bad feelings so that I can feel sorry for myself?

Today I Pray
That I will get out of the self-pity act and live for today. May I notice the good things from dawn to nightfall, learn to talk about them and thank God for them. May I catch myself if I seem to be relishing my moans and complaints more often than appreciating the goodness of my life.

Today I Will Remember
Today is good.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 27, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018

We know from past experiences that we actually invited all our troubles to enter our lives. We left the door wide open for them. Getting sober does not necessarily mean we have closed all the doors, for some of us have only closed the front door and left the back door wide open.

The chances are that you are not only vulnerable through the door marked Alcohol. As you advance to the front, watch well both flanks and the rear.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 27, 2018 - Let's make it an awesome Tuesday with hope and confidence


Monday, February 26, 2018

Feb. 26, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, Feb. 26, 2018
Today’s thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

I wasn’t exactly brought up in one of those Norman Rockwell paintings you used to see on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post.
 — Reggie Jackson

We have many myths about other people’s lives. When we compare ourselves to these stories, we come up short. We have the TV families in our minds. We may have stories our father told about his moment of glory and how he met his challenges. Any of these images selects part of the truth and highlights it, creating a myth that might be worthwhile if we don’t take it too literally.

Living a real life never feels as serene as our fantasies. A myth lifts us up, carries us away to other possibilities, but we should always take it with a grain of salt. Recollections or a Norman Rockwell painting romanticizes a piece of reality by omitting the drudgery and confusion of life. Myths are meant as inspirations, not as measurements of our lives.

The difficulties and confusion I feel may just be part of real life. Serenity comes when I accept the mixture that real life is.

You are reading from the book:

Touchstones ©1986, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 26, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, Feb. 26, 2018

Todayunderstand we cannot take Step Seven of asking a higher power to "remove our shortcomings"  without first surrendering completely to the Sixth Step of being "entirely ready."  If we cling onto some character defect such as fear, resentment, anger, self-pity or remorse, we probably have not been thoroughly honest in our Fourth Step of "a searching and fearless moral inventory ..."  Some - if not all - of those character defects likely triggered our drinking, at first abusively and eventually compulsively, and holding onto them even with an honest desire to let go of them may threaten the quality of our sobriety - maybe sobriety itself. An "honest desire"  to surrender our defects, then, is not sufficient. Because the program is one of action, we must be active in releasing our defects and not taking them back. Our thoughts, feelings and actions of yesterday influence our tomorrows; thus, what we do today may well impact tomorrow, and a history of carrying from yesterday into tomorrow is one of self-destruction. Today, if we are mired in defects that we know contributed to our drinking, let's review our Fourth to see if it wasn't as "searching and fearless"  as it should be. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

Feb. 26, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Feb. 26, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
When we came into AA, we came to believe in a Power greater than ourselves. We came to believe in that Divine Principle in the universe which we call God, and to which we can turn for help. Each morning we have a quiet time. We ask God for the power to stay sober for the next 24 hours. And each night we thank Him for helping us to keep sober that day.

Do I believe that each man or woman I see in AA is a demonstration of the power of God to change a human being from a drunkard to a sober person?

Meditation for the Day
I should pray for faith as a thirsty person prays for water in a desert. Do I know what it means to feel sure that God will never fail me? Am I sure of this as I am sure that I still breathe? I should pray daily and most diligently that my faith may increase. There is nothing lacking in my life because, really, all I need is mine, only I lack the faith to know it. I am like a rich man's child who sits in rags when all around me are stores of all I could desire.

Prayer for the Day
I pray for the realization that God has everything I need. I pray that I may know that His power is always available.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 26, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, Feb. 26, 2018

Reflection for the Day
"What if ..."  How often we hear these words from newcomers to The Program. How often, in fact, we tend to say them ourselves. "What if I lose my job ...,"  "What if my car breaks down ...,"  "What if I get sick and can't work ...,"  "What if my child gets hooked on drugs?"  What if - anything our desperate imaginings can project. Only two small words, yet how heavy-laden they are with dread, fear and anxiety. The answer to, "What if ...,"  is, plainly and simply, "Don't project."  We can only live with our problems as they arise, living one day at a time.

Am I keeping my thoughts positive?

Today I Pray
May I grow spiritually, without being held back by anxieties. May projected fears not hobble my pursuits or keep me from making the most of today. May I turn out fear by faith. If I will only make a place for God within me, He will remove my fears.

Today I Will Remember
I can only borrow trouble at high interest rates.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 26, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, Feb. 26, 2018

Frequently we are asked, "Why waste your money on that guy? He's a phony if ever I saw one."  We have all heard this and often it was true but, after all, the monetary loss each month was way below our old whiskey bills. Every once in a while, the long shot does come in and the payoff is tremendous.

It is simply a case of betting on people instead of horses. These bets on people can't lose, for if the phony abuses your generosity, the fault is his, not yours, and he is debited and you are credited by the Great Bookkeeper who has charge of the Treasury where "neither moth nor rust doth corrupt and where thieves do not break through and steal."

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 26, 2018 - Rise 'n shine for a magnificent Monday and great new week


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Feb. 25, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

The most wasted day of all is that on which we have not laughed.
 — Sebastien R. N. Chamfort

When we first started going to Twelve Step meetings we were often stunned to hear so much laughter. But we soon learned that a good hearty laugh or a joyful smile is as important to our recovery as all the serious issues we explore.

Learning to laugh is part of our growth. It recognizes our shared experiences and helps us feel closer to one another. It also reminds us we are able to smile again, and that a better perspective on life is returning.

We only have today to live, and we are getting better today, so why not smile and enjoy it? Why not open ourselves up to a good laugh and let it push our pain or sorrow out? Now that we are once again choosing how we feel, we have the power to opt for joy.

Today I am grateful for my ability to laugh and share laughter and fun.

You are reading from the book:

Body, Mind, and Spirit © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 25, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018

Today, admit that I abused, misused, took for granted and literally threw away through my drinking and actions all that I had been GIVEN unconditionally - love, respect, self-respect, integrity, friends, family, innocence - and traded it for selfishness, insecurity, fear, regret, pain, agony, anguish, loss and time that will never be recovered. Now, I am forced to admit I cannot expect to be given what I drank away - nor should I be enabled in regaining what I lost - without earning it. And I have the tools to begin the rebuilding process, courtesy of AA. So simple! But the work to apply those tools forces me to ask my Higher Power, on bended knees, for the strength, courage, honesty, discipline, integrity and selflessness to earn back - not demand nor expect them to be handed to me - what I have lost. And, if I do the job right, I may get back more than I lost. Today, I accept I must remake myself and, with the program, I've got the tools to do it. All that remains is my choice to pick them up and put them to use. Today, I pick them up and begin the rebuilding process. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

Feb. 25, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
Some people find it hard to believe in a Power greater than themselves. But not to believe in such a Power forces us to atheism. It has been said that atheism is blind faith in the strange proposition that this universe originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes nowhere. That's practically impossible to believe. I think we all can agree that alcohol is a power greater than ourselves. It certainly was in my case. I was helpless before the power of alcohol.

Do I remember the things that happened to me because of the power of alcohol?

Meditation for the Day
The spiritual and moral will eventually overcome the material and unmoral. That is the purpose and destiny of the human race. Gradually the spiritual is overcoming the material in our minds. Gradually the moral is overcoming the unmoral. Faith, fellowship and service are cures for most of the ills of the world. There is nothing in the field of personal relationships that they cannot do.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may do my share in making a better world. I pray that I may be part of the cure for the ills of the world.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 25, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018

Reflection for the Day
Before we came to The Program, fear ruled our lives. Tyrannized by our addictions and obsessions, we feared everything and everybody. We feared ourselves and, perhaps most of all, feared fear itself. These days, when I am able to accept the help of my Higher Power, it makes me feel capable of doing anything I am called upon to do. I am overcoming my fears and acquiring a comfortable new confidence.

Can I believe that "courage is fear that has said its prayers ...?"

Today I Pray
God grant that through faith in Him I may overcome my obsessive fears. I have been running scared for so long it has become a habit. God help me to see that I may be purposely clinging to my fears to avoid making decisions, perhaps even to shirk the responsibility of success.

Today I Will Remember
Fear keeps me safe from risk-taking.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 25, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018

Few of us who are successfully working the AA Program have failed to notice the almost immediate influence our sobriety has brought about, not only in our homes and jobs but in the community as well.

Some of us who a short time ago stood before the judge and got the usual "$10 or 10 days" are now frequently closeted in the Judge's Chambers at his invitation to assist him in his handling of the alcoholic problem.

We know what we were, we know what we are, now let us be what we can be.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 25, 2018 - Let's get it moving on a beautiful and super Sunday, folks


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Feb. 24, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Not only then has each man his individual relation to God, but each man has his peculiar relation to God.
 — George MacDonald

Each of us sees and experiences God in a way somehow unique to us. No two people see things exactly alike. That’s why our program has no dogma. Each of us is encouraged to follow a spiritual path that seems to have been created for us. And we need not worry if we’re on the right one, because every path leads to God. Would God let us lose our way? Of course not. We will know if a course correction is needed, and God will lead us to it.

Each of us understands God in a way no one else does. There’s a place in God’s love for each of us. And out of that place we can bring light to other people, just as our own special people have brought their light to us.

I will cultivate my unique vision of God so that I may bring light to someone else.

You are reading from the book:
In God’s Care by Karen Casey. © 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 24, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018

Today, apply the program more widely and remember it is developed not solely to guide us to sobriety but to detect and correct the character flaws that enabled our drinking. Being dry is all we can expect if the only action we take is to quit drinking. Abstinence by itself won't earn us the sobriety and peace if we do not uncover, admit and either give up or correct the dysfunctional dynamics of our spiritual and emotional characters. Being dry is a major step forward from our drinking days, but dry without peace puts us at significant risk of relapse if we turn a blind eye to the defective parts of our character. And because simply being dry puts us on the edge of a relapse waiting to happen, AA helps us to deal with the defects in mental, spiritual and emotional characters. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

Feb. 24, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
When we came to our first AA meeting, we looked up at the wall at the end of the room and saw the sign: "But for the Grace of God." We knew right then and there that we would have to call on the Grace of God in order to get sober and get over our soul-sickness. We heard speakers tell how they had come to depend on a Power greater than themselves. That made sense to us and we made up our minds to try it.

Am I depending on the Grace of God to help me stay sober?

Meditation for the Day
Share your love, your joy, your happiness, your time, your food, your money gladly with all. Give out all the love you can with a glad, free heart and hand. Do all you can for others and back will come countless stores of blessings. Sharing draws others to you. Take all who come as sent by God and give them a royal welcome. You may never see the results of your sharing. Today they may not need you, but tomorrow may bring results from the sharing you did today.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may make each visitor desire to return. I pray that I may never make anyone feel repulsed or unwanted.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 24, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018

Reflection for the Day
I can banish fear by realizing the truth. Am I afraid to be alone? This fear can be banished by the realization that I am never alone, that God is always with me wherever I am and whatever I do. Am I afraid that I won't have enough money to meet my needs? This fear can be banished by the realization that God is my inexhaustible, unfailing resource, now and always. Today I have the power to change fear into faith.

Can I say with confidence, "I will trust, and will not be afraid ...?"

Today I Pray
That I may fear no evil, for God is with me. That I may learn to turn to my Higher Power when I am afraid. I pray diligently that my faith in God and trust in what He has in store for me is strong enough to banish the fears that undermine my courage.

Today I Will Remember
Turn fear into faith.

Hazelden Foundation