Friday, August 31, 2018

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

Friday, Aug. 31, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

All things pass… Patience attains all that it strives for.
 — St. Teresa of Avila

Some days, it seems like our struggles will never end. The pain, the loss, the heartaches, the failures we can recount them all. Where is the strength to go on?

What if we began our day by acknowledging that all things pass? That given time, effort, and patience, we can accept or accomplish most anything? But patience does not mean complacency. On the contrary, each day in recovery requires a new attitude, a new outlook that in time generates its own positive energy for growth and change.

We need strength and patience not only in the difficult moments, but in the easier ones – the days of comfort when things seem to be going almost too well.

Soon, we can look back across the months and see growth. As the skills of the dancer or the carpenter increase with time and patience, so do our skills in recovery. As we grow in recovery, becoming ever more patient, we become ever more in tune with our Higher Power and the promise of a new life.

Today grant me the patience to live in the moment. Help me be willing to believe that all things pass and I can live better in sobriety.

You are reading from the book:

Body, Mind, and Spirit © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 31, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Friday, Aug. 31, 2018

Today, Step 11 to answer honestly if I have "Sought through prayer and meditation to improve (my) conscious contact with God as (I) understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for (me) and the power to carry that out." Simply acknowledging a Higher Power and looking to Him as a guide through recovery is not enough. We must also seek what He requires of us and the knowledge and power to do what He wants of us. Why is the 11th Step important to both the early and later stages of recovery? In seeking our Higher Power's will for us, we are getting away from one of our most dangerous and contributory spiritual afflictions - selfishness. We dare not risk what progress we have made or seek by holding onto those poisonous character and spiritual defects like selfishness, anger, hate and bitterness that will undermine either the quality of recovery or sobriety itself. Today, seek through prayer and meditation the will of our Higher Power, not ours. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, Aug. 31, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
"Call on new prospects while they are still jittery. They may be more receptive when depressed. See them alone if possible. Tell them enough about your drinking habits and experiences to encourage them to speak of themselves. If they wish to talk, let them do so. If they are not communicative, talk about the troubles liquor has caused you, being careful not to moralize or lecture. When they see you know all about the drinking game, commence to describe yourself as an alcoholic and tell them how you learned you were sick."

Am I ready to talk about myself to new prospects?

Meditation for the Day
Try not to give way to criticism, blame, scorn or judgment of others, when you are trying to help them. Effectiveness in helping others depends on controlling yourself. You may be swept away by a temporary natural urge to criticize or blame, unless you keep a tight rein on your emotions. You should have a firm foundation of spiritual living which makes you truly humble, if you are going to really help other people. Go easy on them and be hard on yourself. That is the way you can be used most to uplift a despairing spirit. And seek no personal recognition for what you are used by God to accomplish.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may try to avoid judgment and criticism. I pray that I may always try to build up others instead of tearing them down.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Friday, Aug. 31, 2018

Reflection for the Day
From time to time, I begin to think I know what God's will is for other people. I say to myself, "This person ought to be cured of his terminal illness," or, "That one ought to be freed from the torment she's going through," and I begin to pray for those specific things. My heart is in the right place when I pray in such fashion, but those prayers are based on the supposition that I know God's will for the person for whom I pray. The Program teaches me, instead, that I ought to pray that God's will - whatever it is - be done for others as well as for myself.

Will I remember that God is ready to befriend me, but only to the degree that I trust Him?

Today I Pray
I praise God for the chance to help others. I thank God also for making me want to help others, for taking me out of my tower of self so that I can meet and share with and care about people. Teach me to pray that "Thy will be done" in the spirit of love, which God inspires in me.

Today I Will Remember
I will put my trust in the will of God.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 31, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Friday, Aug. 31, 2018

It is a constant source of amazement to some of the Old-Timers to answer a call for help from some alcoholic and to find that the person in trouble is a neighbor, relative, friend or fellow employee or a member of AA.

It sometimes happens that the new man preferred it that way as he would rather discuss the matter with a stranger than someone near him.

It is also true that some of us are not quick to grasp the opportunities to pass the Message along. If you see a man is beyond his depth and can't swim, why should you wait for him to yell for help? He might be deaf and dumb.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 31, 2018 - Welcome to the toe-trippin' Happy Dance Friday and extended Labor Day weekend


Thursday, August 30, 2018

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

Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Walk. Don’t walk.
 — Traffic Light

Signs direct us on our way in life. Traffic lights tell us to walk (or not), Golden Arches point us to dinner, geese flying south herald the coming winter, flashing neon tells us what to buy. We know how to read these signs of worlds and weather; they help to guide us on our journey.

We can learn to read the signs of human beings, too, to be detectives of the human spirit. Laugh lines around eyes and mouth, the texture of hands, tension in jaws and shoulders can tell much about a person, if we stop to look. All around us are signs that tell us others feel the pain and joy we feel, others need us as we need them, we are understood, and we are not alone.

The marvelous bonus in learning to read these signs in others is that we can begin to let ourselves be read, also.

You are reading from the book:

Today’s Gift © 1985, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 30, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018

TodayStep 10 because it is one of the most integral maintenance steps: "Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it." The 10th is the extension of the Fourth in which we "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." We cannot and should not believe that our personal inventory and admission of our wrongs is a one-time exercise. Not only can those wrongs be resurrected in recovery and even after we've asked our higher power to remove them, but "new" defects can and do evolve in recovery. But why should we look in the mirror long after our last drink or use? Failing to do so risks old character defects to rise again, possibly undetected, and a fearless honesty will likely tell us that our active addiction was fueled by those defects. And a relapse, even a so-called "slip," is too high a price to pay for neglecting our maintenance of the progress we seek. Today, I have to muster the honesty required of a continued personal inventory - my recovery is too precious a gift to risk. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
"Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as extensive work with other alcoholics. Carry the message to other alcoholics. You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail. Life will take on a new meaning for you. To watch people recover, to see them help others in turn, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow about you, to have a host of friends, this is an experience you must not miss."

Am I always ready and willing to help other alcoholics?

Meditation for the Day
One secret of abundant living is the art of giving. The paradox of life is that the more you give, the more you have. If you lose your life in the service of others, you will save it. You can give abundantly and so live abundantly. You are rich in one respect - you have a spirit that is inexhaustible. Let no mean or selfish thought keep you from sharing this spirit. Of love, of help, of understanding and of sympathy, give and keep giving. Give your personal ease and comfort, your time, your money and most of all, yourself. And you will be living abundantly.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may live to give. I pray that I may learn this secret of abundant living.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018

Reflection for the Day
I'll begin today with a prayer - prayer in my heart, prayer in my mind and words of prayer on my lips. Through prayer, I'll stay tuned to God today, reaching forward to become that to which I aspire. Prayer will redirect my mind, helping me rise in consciousness to the point where I realize that there's no separation between God and me. As I let the power of God flow through me, all limitations will fall away.

Do I know that nothing can overcome the power of God?

Today I Pray
Today may I offer to my Higher Power a constant prayer, not just a "once-in-the-morning-does-it" kind. May I think of my Higher Power at coffee breaks, lunch, tea time, during a quiet evening - and at all times in between. May my consciousness expand and erase the lines of separation, so that the Power is a part of me and I am a part of the Power.

Today I Will Remember
To live an all-day prayer.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 30, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018

You can't swim like a fish, run like a deer, fight like a tiger or fly like a bird. Every one of your five senses is excelled by some member of the animal kingdom. Man, physically, has many superiors and would long since have been extinct but for the fact that he alone possess reasoning power.

With this advantage he can build ships to outswim the fish, motor cars to outrun the deer, perfect weapons to outfight the tiger and airplanes to outstrip the fastest of birds. With this reason he can visualize the reason behind all Nature and thus avail himself of a Power greater than himself and all the forces with which he has to contend.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 30, 2018 - Rise 'n shine for a beautiful Thursday with unwavering confidence and determination


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

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

Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Don’t be a victim

Some people refer to us as victims of our problems, but we should not accept such labeling. A better term for us is survivors.

Working in step with our Higher Power, we should view ourselves as capable of rising above all the challenges and conditions that confront us. If we call ourselves victims, we’ll soon be inviting more people and situations to victimize us. As survivors, however, we will always learn to sail through the roughest storms.

Looking at the general world situation, it does seem realistic to say that lots of people are victims. But we must always take into account the vast power that resides in every human soul. People have tremendous power to change their conditions, and when word of this finally gets around, we’ll see a worldwide spiritual awakening that will change everything for the better.

Whatever I’m facing today, I’ll know that the spirit within me also gives me the qualities I need to survive.

You are reading from the book:

Walk in Dry Places by Mel B. © 1996 by Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 29, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018

Todayunderstand that serenity comes from within and not from people and things on the outside. I wasted too much time, emotion and energy in my drinking days searching and even clinging to outside things and people in whom I vested my sobriety. But now I must accept that my sobriety comes from within. I no longer can demand or hope that the world and other people can change to accommodate my recovery but that I must change to fit into them. AA gives me the road map to arrive at such a lofty destination, in Step Four: "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." Steps Five, Six and Seven, then, guide us through the admission to God, to ourselves and another human being the "exact nature" of the wrongs we find in Step Four. The steps are dependent on action by me, not someone or something else. Today, I assume responsibility for both my addiction and recovery. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
"We cannot get along without prayer and meditation. On awakening, let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking. Our thought lives will be placed on a much higher plane when we start the day with prayer and meditation. We conclude this period of meditation with a prayer that we will be shown through the day what our next step is to be. The basis of all our prayers is: Thy will be done in me and through me today."

Am I sincere in my desire to do God's will today?

Meditation for the Day
Breathe in the inspiration of goodness and truth. It is the spirit of honesty, purity, unselfishness and love. It is readily available if we are willing to accept it wholeheartedly. God has given us two things - His spirit and the power of choice - to accept or not, as we will. We have the gift of free will. When we choose the path of selfishness and greed and pride, we are refusing to accept God's spirit. When we choose the path of love and service, we accept God's spirit and it flows into us and makes all things new.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may choose the right way. I pray that I may try to follow it to the end.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018

Reflection for the Day
Prayer can have many rewards. One of the greatest rewards is the sense of belonging it brings to me. No longer do I live as a stranger in a strange land, alien in a completely hostile world. No longer am I lost, frightened and purposeless. I belong. We find, in The Program, that the moment we catch a glimpse of God's will - the moment we begin to see truth, justice and love as the real and eternal things in life - we're no longer so deeply upset by all the seeming evidence to the contrary surrounding us in purely human affairs.

Do I believe that God lovingly watches over me?

Today I Pray
May I be grateful for the comfort and peace of belonging - to God the ultimately wise "parent" and to His family on earth. May I no longer need bumper stickers or boisterous gangs to give me my identity. Through prayer, I am God's.

Today I Will Remember
I find my identity through prayer.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 29, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018

The relationship of hours to a lifetime is comparable to the relationship of bricks to a house. Every brick that is laid must be a separate and distinct operation, yet so tied to the preceding and the following brick that their positions are level and plumb. Each one is an entirety in itself, but all the bricks are either supporting or are supported by each other.

Our hours, lived one by one, are in no sense different. The beauty, strength and durability of our lives will be determined by the individual hours viewed collectively.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 29, 2018 - Let's make it an absolutely great Wednesday with total confidence and determination


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

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

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

Happiness is not a matter of events; it depends upon the tides of the mind.
 — Alice Meynell

It’s all too easy to blame a friend, spouse, or co-worker for the uneven quality of our lives. If only others would behave according to our plans and dictates, then all would go well, we think. What seldom is remembered or even understood is that each of us has an individual perspective on any single event – our own. We need to stretch our minds and hearts to understand an experience from another’s point of view. However, we need never fully understand how another perceives life. We need only to accept that another’s perspective is legitimate.

Our happiness is not dependent on the perceptions or the actions of someone else. Nor is it dependent on attention, or lack of it, from a loved one. Our occupation may be challenging and fulfilling; however, the joy we get from it depends on the attitude we carry to the job. In every way, whether in the company of others or by ourselves, we make our own happiness.

My opportunity for happiness is guaranteed if I opt for it today.

You are reading from the book:

The Promise of a New Day by Karen Casey & Martha Vanceburg. © 1983, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

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

Step by Step
Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018

"I realize that all I'm guaranteed in life is today. The poorest person has no less and the wealthiest has no more - each of us has but one day. What we do with it is our own business; how we use it is up to us individually." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "They Lost Nearly All," Ch 2 ("Promoted to Chronic"), p 473.

Today, fully understand and accept that all I have today is just that - today! Whether I have little to nothing, or all and more than I can use materially, I am no less and no better than anyone because, in the end, all we take with us to our final chapters is ourselves. But, especially in recovery, I cannot foolishly look too far beyond the forest in my goal to achieve a landmark anniversary of sobriety or any other goal; one of the trees in the forest could cold-cock me. Grant me wisdom and prudence to see first what is in front of me instead of beyond and what must be done to get me to the long-term goal. Today, I do with what I have - today. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
"We must continue to take personal inventory and continue to set right any new mistakes as we go along. We should grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter; it should continue for our lifetime. Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. We must not rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve, contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition."

Am I checking my spiritual condition daily?

Meditation for the Day
Happiness cannot be sought directly; it is a by-product of love and service. Service is a law of our being. With love in your heart, there is always some service to other people. A life of power and joy and satisfaction is built on love and service. Persons who hate or are selfish are going against the law of their own being. They are cutting themselves off from God and other people. Little acts of love and encouragement, of service and help, erase the rough places of life and help to make the path smooth. If we do these things, we cannot help having our share of happiness.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may give my share of love and service. I pray that I may not grow weary in my attempts to do the right thing.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018

Reflection for the Day
"Prayer does not change God," wrote Soren Kierkegaard, "but it changes him who prays." Those of us in The Program who've learned to make regular use of prayer would no more do without it than we'd turn down sunshine, fresh air or food - and for the same reason. Just as the body can wither and fail for lack of nourishment, so can the soul. We all need the light of God's reality, the nourishment of His strength, and the atmosphere of His grace.

Do I thank God for all that He has given me, for all that He has taken away from me, and for all He has left me?

Today I Pray
Dear H.P.: I want to thank you for spreading calm over my confusion, for making the jangled chords of my human relationships harmonize again, for putting together the shattered pieces of my Humpty Dumpty self, for giving me a sobriety present, a whole great expanded world of marvels and opportunities. May I remain truly Yours, Yours truly.

Today I Will Remember
Prayer, however simple, nourishes the soul.

Hazelden Foundation

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

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018

The subconscious aim of practically all men is to get the most and the best out of every day of their lives. It is a simple creed and if honestly followed, day by day, act by act, it cannot help but lead to greater heights.

Like AA, it is so simple it is incredible. Why not try it? It's what you honestly want anyway.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 28, 2018 - Let's get moving on a beautiful and terrific Tuesday with confidence and determination


Monday, August 27, 2018

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

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

The Power of Love

Love is the best motivation. When we are plugged in to our Higher Power, we are plugged in to love. It flows through us like a current, energizing our sluggish hearts and minds.
As we work the Steps of this program, we are given increased ability to love. By turning over our lives and our wills, we become receptive to the love which surrounds and sustains us. By taking inventory and being ready to have our character defects removed, we are able to get rid of old ways of thinking and acting which have been blocking out love.

We cannot produce love for others by ourselves, but we can receive it from our Higher Power. We can even receive love for people we don’t particularly like.

Love gives energy for action and directs its course. May I grow in love.

You are reading from the book:

Food for Thought by Elisabeth L. © 1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation

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

Step by Step
Monday, Aug. 27, 2018

"I will never know all the people I hurt, all the friends I abused, the humiliation of my family, the worry of my business associates or how far-reaching it was. I continue to be surprised by the people I meet who say, 'You haven't had a drink for a long time, have you?' The surprise to me is the fact that I didn't know that they knew my drinking had gotten out of control. That is where we are really fooled. We think we can drink to excess without anyone knowing it. Everyone knows it. The only one we are fooling is ourselves. We rationalize and excuse our conduct beyond all reason." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "They Stopped in Time," Ch 10 ("It Might Have Been Worse"), p 376.

Today, may my experience with "hiding" serve as a hint that I'm hiding nothing and fooling no one but myself about my drinking. If I am drinking today, let me give up the illusion that no one is paying attention and turn my energies that I expend on "hiding" to sobering up. And if I am not drinking, let me consider that I may have missed in my Eighth Step people to whom I owe amends because I may not know or remember who I have hurt. To them, my greatest amend may be continued abstinence. Today, if I am hiding, let me see that I am hiding in plain sight and, if I can't remember all the people who are owed amends, let me make them by staying sober. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Aug. 27, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
"We must be willing to make amends to all the people we have harmed. We must do the best we can to repair the damage done in the past. When we make amends, when we say: 'I'm sorry,' the person is sure at least to be impressed by our sincere desire to set right the wrong. Sometimes people we are making amends to admit their own faults, so feuds of long standing melt away. Our most ruthless creditors will sometimes surprise us. In general, we must be willing to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences may be for us."

Have I made a sincere effort to make amends to the people I have harmed?

Meditation for the Day
The grace of God cures disharmony and disorder in human relationships. Directly you put your affairs, with their confusion and their difficulties, into God's hands. He begins to effect a cure of all the disharmony and disorder. You can believe that He will cause you no more pain in the doing of it than a physician, who plans and knows that he can effect a cure, would cause his patient. You can have faith that God will do all that is necessary as painlessly as possible. But you must be willing to submit to His treatment, even if you cannot now see the meaning or purpose of it.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may willingly submit to whatever spiritual discipline is necessary. I pray that I may accept whatever it takes to live a better life.

Hazelden Foundation