Saturday, March 31, 2018

March 31, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Saturday, March 31, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Self-Respect

When my kids used to say, “Mom yelled at me,” what they meant was that I had told them to clean their rooms, or to say “please” and “thank you,” or to obey some other parental directive they didn’t like. To them, this was yelling because we just weren’t a yelly household. So I don’t know how my child became comfortable with yelling and swearing at me once he became an addict, but he did.

And I let him.

I used to be strong. I had self-respect. I would never have let anyone walk all over me. But with my addicted son, I pretty much rolled out the red carpet. He sneered at me and called me names; he was rude, insulting, and mean. He manipulated me, used me, and abused my love and trust. When he said he hated me, didn’t call back, or didn’t show up, I pretended it didn’t hurt. Instead, I groveled. I was desperate, determined to hang on to the last imaginary thread of our relationship-even if it was abusive.

This is not love-not of the self. Not of anyone.

Unconditional love doesn’t mean you have to unconditionally accept bad behaviors.
 — Anonymous

You are reading from the book:
Tending Dandelions © 2017 by Sandra Swenson

March 31, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Saturday, March 31, 2018

Today, no self-pity to shake my recovery regardless if my recovery began 24 months or 24 hours ago. Self-pity may be the deadliest of poisons that can undo, in the blink of an eye, any progress I've made. Self-pity is giving up my belief and total surrender to my Higher Power and is the epitome of selfishness. If there is adversity this day, I will face it with the courage, strength, hope and dignity with which AA endows me, and I've already been endowed with courage, strength, hope and dignity merely by committing myself to recovery. Nor will I whine, "Why me?" And if I say no to self-pity today, I have no reason or excuse to drink, to use - and this day, then, will be good. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

March 31, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, March 31, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
Since I've been in AA, have I made a start towards being more unselfish? Do I no longer want my own way in everything? When things go wrong and I can't have what I want, do I no longer sulk? Am I trying not to waste money on myself? And does it make me happy to see my family and my home have enough attention from me?

Am I trying not to be all get and no give?

Meditation for the Day
Each day is a day of progress, steady progress forward, if you make it so. You may not see it, but God does. God does not judge by outward appearance. He judges by the heart. Let Him see in your heart a simple desire always to do His will. Though you may feel that your work has been spoiled or tarnished, God sees it as an offering for Him. When climbing a steep hill, a person is often more conscious of the weakness of his stumbling feet than of the view, the grandeur or even of the upward progress.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may persevere in all good things. I pray that I may advance each day in spite of my stumbling feet.

Hazelden Foundation

March 31, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Saturday, March 31, 2018

Reflection for the Day
My illness is unlike most other illnesses in that denial that I am sick is a primary symptom that I am sick. Like such other incurable illnesses as diabetes and arthritis, however, my illness is characterized by relapses. In The Program, we call such relapses "slips." The one thing I know for certain is that I alone can cause myself to slip.

Will I remember at all times that the thought precedes the action? Will I try to avoid "stinking thinking?"

Today I Pray
May God give me the power to resist temptations. May the responsibility for giving in, for having a "slip," be on my shoulders and mine only. May I see beforehand if I am setting myself up for a slip by blame-shifting, shirking my responsibility to myself, becoming the world's poor puppet once again. My return to those old attitudes can be as much of a slip as the act of losing my sobriety.

Today I Will Remember
Nobody's slip-proof.

Hazelden Foundation

March 31, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Saturday, March 31, 2018

We as alcoholics are so used to getting by with a minimum of effort on our part that we sometimes fail to appreciate that only those things earned have any real lasting value.

We allowed our families to cover up for us and support us, we panhandled, we were experts in the game of something for nothing.

Nothing free is worth having. AA has no initiation fees or dues, but it also costs a lot if you want to get a lot. You can procure a two-bit brand of AA, but we don't guarantee it will work.

Hazelden Foundation

March 31, 2018 - Let's throw in a heap of hope and confidence into this splendid Saturday


Friday, March 30, 2018

March 30, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Friday, March 30, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

In order to arrive at possessing everything, desire to possess nothing.
 – St. John of the Cross

Expectations can cause havoc in our daily living. We all have a basic right to be treated with dignity and respect, but that doesn’t mean life will always go our way. The twists and turns of life often carry us up rivers of disappointment to shores we never chose to visit.

Facing life as fully involved travelers, without expectations about outcomes, is perhaps the brightest way to travel.

Making plans without setting up for certain outcomes makes us flexible people who learn to go with the flow. It has been said that there is a direct proportion between our level of expectation and the amount of stress we have in our lives. Trusting the results to a larger plan allows us to relax and enjoy the adventure of the journey.

As we grow closer to our Higher Power, we find we can let go. We are more peaceful and confident, less frantic and controlling. Trusting that our Higher Power will protect us, no matter what we encounter on our journey, helps us face the future with a calm and loving heart.

Today let me relax into life and let go of my expectations.

You are reading from the book:
Body, Mind, and Spirit © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation

March 30, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Friday, March 30, 2018

Today, I cannot crumble to temptation to try "just one" drink. Regardless of how many 24 Hours of sobriety, none of us is immune to the thought, however fleeting, that maybe one drink won't do any damage. Of course it will, as we know from bitter experience. If temptation is a human foible, it is one that none of us in recovery can afford. For us, temptation is our failure to integrate into the deepest of our souls the program's first four words - "Admitted we were powerless ..." Temptation is also our self-will run riot and rejection of surrendering our will to our Higher Power. Still, if temptation sneaks in, may I have imprinted in my conscience the outcome of all those times in the past when I did cave. And the memory of that outcome is too costly and painful to give in. Today, I hope I am not tempted, but I will not take for granted that I won't so that, if I am, I am strong and honest enough in my program to rise above it. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

March 30, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, March 30, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
Before I met AA, I was very unloving. From the time I went away to school, I paid very little attention to my mother and father. I was on my own and didn't even bother to keep in touch with them. After I got married, I was very unappreciative of my spouse. Many a time I would go out all by myself to have a good time. I paid too little attention to our children and didn't try to understand them or show them affection. My few friends were only drinking companions, not real friends.

Have I gotten over loving nobody but myself?

Meditation for the Day
Be calm, be true, be quiet. Do not get emotionally upset by anything that happens around you. Feel a deep, inner security in the goodness and purpose in the universe. Be true to your highest ideals. Do not let yourself slip back into the old ways of reacting. Stick to your spiritual guns. Be calm always. Do not talk back or defend yourself too much against accusation, whether false or true. Accept abuse as well as you accept praise. Only God can judge the real you.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not be upset by the judgment of others. I pray that I may let God be the judge of the real me.

Hazelden Foundation

March 30, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Friday, March 30, 2018

Reflection for the Day
"When I meditate upon such a vision," Bill W. continued, "I need not be dismayed because I shall never attain it, nor need I swell with presumption that one of these days its virtues shall all be mine. I only need to dwell on the vision itself, letting it grow and ever more fill my heart ...Then I get a sane and healthy idea of where I stand on the highway to humility. I see that my journey towards God has scarcely begun. As I thus get down to my right size and stature, my self-concern and importance become amusing."

Do I take myself too seriously?

Today I Pray
May the grandiosity which is a symptom of my chemical addiction be brought back into proportion by the simple comparison of my powerlessness with the power of God. May I think of the meaning of Higher Power as it relates to my human frailty. May it bring my ego back down to scale and help me shed my defenses of pomp or bluster or secret ideas of self-importance.

Today I Will Remember
He is great. I am small.

Hazelden Foundation

March 30, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Friday, March 30, 2018

The truly great man can afford to be humble, for hundreds of others are exalting him. You have only one horn to blow and other people can't toot it if you are eternally tooting it yourself.

The proud man is aggressive in his own interest; the humble man is aggressive in the ideals he believes in. Humility is not passive resignation; it is, rather, subjecting self for lofty purposes.

Hazelden Foundation

March 30, 2018 - To all whose faith includes worship, a blessed and revered Good Friday


March 30, 2018 - Good morning to the overdue and fabulous Happy Dance Friday, folks


Thursday, March 29, 2018

March 29, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Thursday, March 29, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Life guarantees a chance – not a fair shake.
 — Bernie Y.

Life is not fair. Most of us know that, but few of us accept it. Something in us often clings to the idea that ultimately, the gifts will all be evenly divided. Mostly we want to be paid back for the injustices of the past. Many of us expect – no, demand – redress from fate. We think life should “make it up” to us somehow. That’s why it’s so hard for us to go on discovering, again and again, what we already know: Life is not fair.

The good job that should have been ours, the accident that crippled a loved one, unwanted childlessness – these things are not fair. But life is like soil, not like seed. The chance of a harvest is there, but only if we plant the seed. And even then we may not get the harvest we expected or wished for – not on our own timetable. It is an act of faith, and of great courage, to keep on sowing seeds when we don’t know what we’re going to get. But it’s the only chance we have. We need to stop expecting the soil to provide the seed.

Today, I will be grateful to be alive. This day offers a chance for a fuller life, and I will accept what comes of my efforts.

You are reading from the book:
Days of Healing, Days of Joy by Earnie Larsen and Carol Larsen Hegarty. © 1987, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation

March 29, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, March 29, 2018

Today, if I start any day with dread, I probably need to do a 10th Step or re-do my Fourth. Clearly something is wrong and I have not yet reaped benefits of sobriety or, worse, I am little more than a dry drunk. The Serenity Prayer tells me that I have no control over what this day might serve up, but it also tells me what I can change is me. The program gives me the tools to do it, from its first four words - "Admitted (I am) powerless" - to the 12th Step's promise of a new me through a spiritual awakening and its command to practice all the steps "in all (my) affairs." And if I take the attitude that the day ahead is something to just get through, I will likely make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. Today, I am powerless over whatever this day has in store, but that my attitude toward it can make or break the serenity that recovery promises - and faith in my Higher Power will give me the courage to change me. Sobriety and life are not things to endure or just get through. Today, I will live, not just endure or get through. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

March 29, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, March 29, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
Before I met AA, I was very dishonest. I lied to my spouse constantly about where I had been and what I'd been doing. I took time off from my work and pretended I'd been sick or gave some other dishonest excuse. I was dishonest with myself, as well as with other people. I would never face myself as I really was or admit when I was wrong. I pretended to myself that I was as good as the next person, although I suspected I wasn't.

Am I now really honest?

Meditation for the Day
I must live in the world and yet live apart with God. I can go forth from my secret times of communion with God to the work of the world. To get the spiritual strength I need, my inner life must be lived apart from the world. I must wear the world as a loose garment. Nothing in the world should seriously upset me, as long as my inner life is lived with God. All successful living arises from this inner life.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may live my inner life with God. I pray that nothing shall invade or destroy that secret place of peace.

Hazelden Foundation

March 29, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Thursday, March 29, 2018

Reflection for the Day
What is the definition of humility? "Absolute humility," said AA co-founder Bill W., "would consist of a state of complete freedom from myself, freedom from all the claims that my defects of character now lay so heavily upon me. Perfect humility would be a full willingness, in all times and places, to find and to do the will of God." 

Am I striving for humility?

Today I Pray
May God expand my interpretation of humility beyond abject subservience or awe at the greatness of others. May humility also mean freedom from myself, a freedom which can come only through turning my being over to God's will. May I sense the omnipotence of God, which is simultaneously humbling and exhilarating. May I be willing to carry out His will.

Today I Will Remember
Humility is freedom.

Hazelden Foundation

March 29, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, March 29, 2018

Do you want to be happy? Then go buy that strange kid on the corner a bag of candy. It may help cause his teeth to decay, but what's a tooth between two glad hearts?

Hazelden Foundation

March 29, 2018 - Good morning to a terrific Thursday with determination and confidence


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

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

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

Nothing is so bad that relapse won’t make it worse.
 — Anonymous

The stories we hear in meetings often shock us. It seems hard to believe that some members could have harmed themselves in such ways. We hear about arrests, bankruptcies, loss of family and home, lost jobs, violence, jail, physical injury – the list goes on. Most of us said to ourselves, “I never was that bad. Maybe I don’t really belong here.”

Our sponsors and fellow members quickly straightened us out. We were comparing our histories with other members. We were told to identify with the stories, not compare. Some of us had been lucky that worse things hadn’t happened to us while we were using. We were reminded those things hadn’t happened to us “yet.” If we relapsed, the “yets” were waiting.

Today I’ll remember to identify, not compare. I don’t want to relapse and go through THE YETS.
You are reading from the book:

Easy Does It © 1999 by Hazelden Foundation

March 28, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Today, I will not romanticize my drinking days as "fun" or good if a newcomer to the program or even a veteran talk about "the good old days." By embellishing drinking before "things went bad" and even constructing a vision that any of it was good, I am probably pining for days when I might have drank "safely" without being honest that those days never existed at all. And by longing for non-existent "good old days," I am vulnerable to a slip or relapse and denying the truth that I am now, and forever will be, "powerless over alcohol." More pointedly, if I try to re-do my last drunk into something that is not true, I have basically forgotten my last drunk. And as one of the program's old sayings goes, if I can't remember my last drunk, I haven't had it yet. Today, I will remember with honesty how it was and that it has been, so far by the grace of God, my last drunk. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
When you come into an AA meeting, you're not just coming into a meeting, you're coming into a new life. I'm always impressed by the change I see in people after they've been in AA for a while. I sometimes take an inventory of myself to see whether I have changed and, if so, in what way. Before I met AA, I was very selfish. I wanted my own way in everything. I don't believe I ever grew up. When things went wrong, I sulked like a spoiled child and often went out and got drunk.

Am I still all get and no give?

Meditation for the Day
There are two things that we must have if we are going to change our way of life. One is faith, the confidence in things unseen, the fundamental goodness and purpose in the universe. The other is obedience: that is, living according to our faith, living each day as we believe that God wants us to live, with gratitude, humility, honesty, purity, unselfishness and love. Faith and obedience, these two, will give us all the strength we need to overcome sin and temptation and to live a new and more abundant life.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may have more faith and obedience. I pray that I may live a more abundant life as a result of these things.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Reflection for the Day
We must think deeply of all those sick persons still to come to The Program. As they try to make their return to faith and to life, we want them to find everything in The Program that we have found, yet more, if that be possible. No care, no vigilance, no effort to preserve The Program's constant effectiveness and spiritual strength will ever be too great to hold us in full readiness for the day of their homecoming.

How well do I respect the Traditions of The Program?

Today I Pray
God help me to carry out my part in making the group a lifeline for those who are still suffering from addictions, in maintaining the Steps and the Traditions which have made it work for me for those who are still to come. May The Program be a "homecoming" for those of us who share the disease of addiction. May we find common solutions to the common problems which that disease breeds.

Today I Will Remember
To do my part.

Hazelden Foundation

March 28, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Why is the world? Why are we here? What is our purpose? Why must we live and suffer and die? Without God, there would be no answer. We do not know the great extent of God's purpose, but we do know that we as individuals, each and every one, must somehow fit into that purpose.

We can only know God as He has revealed Himself to us. We know His principle attribute is goodness. Therefore, His purpose must be good, and we can best serve that purpose by aspiring to the highest standard of goodness that we can conceive.

Hazelden Foundation

March 28, 2018 - Good morning and let's make it an awesome and perfect Wednesday


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

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

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

How can I believe in a Higher Power? I was taught that God is just an idea that weak people use as a crutch.
 — Alcoholics Anonymous member

After we admit how serious our addiction is, we have to face our fear and sadness. Without the help of a Higher Power, we are hopeless. That’s why we each must find a Higher Power that can give us the help we need.

Some of us don’t like Step Two because we think it asks us to believe in somebody else’s idea of God. It doesn’t. It doesn’t even ask us to believe in our own idea of God. The most important thing is to find a Higher Power – not necessarily the Highest Power – to help us stay sober, one that can teach us to succeed in sobriety and one that we trust.

We don’t have to understand this Higher Power. We just have to believe that it works.

Prayer for the Day
Higher Power, I ask You to come into my life and show me how to trust and understand You.

Today’s Action
Today I will make a list of three people or things that know more about recovery than I do. I will circle the one I trust the most.

You are reading from the book:

God Grant Me. . . © 2005 by Hazelden Foundation

March 27, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Today, if I am afraid, anxious, worried or uncertain about anything, I can draw strength from the mercy and blessing of my Higher Power that guided me through the darkness and active alcoholism to face the challenges before me now. If I believe that drinking was the darkest chapter of my life but that I survived with the strength of a Higher Power, I can also believe that the same strength can lead me through a lesser turmoil. Step 2 of coming to believe in a Higher Power is refuge from any storm I am weathering now, and the Third Step of yielding to a greater power calms any fears or doubts with faith. Today, I can draw strength and hope from the yesterday when I had my last drink to believe that, with faith and strength in the power that got me through those days, I can get through anything less - with unconditional faith and by seeking His will over mine. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
You get the power to overcome drinking through the fellowship of other alcoholics who have found the way out. You get power by honestly sharing your past experience by a personal witness. You get power by coming to believe in a Higher Power, the Divine Principle in the universe which can help you. You get power by working with other alcoholics. In these four ways, thousands of alcoholics have found all the power they needed to overcome drinking.

Am I ready and willing to accept this power and work for it?

Meditation for the Day
The power of God's spirit is the greatest power in the universe. Our conquest of each other, the great kings and conquerors, the conquest of wealth, the leaders of the money society, all amount to very little in the end. But he that conquers himself is greater than he who conquers a city. Material things have no permanence. But God's spirit is eternal. Everything really worthwhile in the world is the result of the power of God's spirit.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may open myself to the power of God's spirit. I pray that my relationships with others may be improved by this spirit.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Reflection for the Day
Storing up grievances is not only a waste of time, but a waste of life that could be lived to greater satisfaction. If I keep a ledger of "oppressions and indignities," I'm only restoring them to painful reality.

"The horror of that moment," the King said, "I shall never, never forget."
"You will, though," said the Queen,
"if you don't make a memorandum of it." - Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking Glass"

Am I keeping a secret storehouse for the wreckage of my past?

Today I Pray
God keep me from harboring the sludge from the past - grievances, annoyances, grudges, oppressions, wrongs, injustices, put-downs, slights, hurts. They will nag at me and consume my time in rehashing what I "might have said" or done until I face each one, name the emotion it produced in me, settle it as best I can - and forget it. May I empty my storehouse of old grievances.

Today I Will Remember
Don't rattle old bones.

Hazelden Foundation