Thursday, January 31, 2019

Jan. 31, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Values

What do I value most? What is number one in my life? What is at the center?

When I was overeating, I was the center. I was the biggest thing in my universe, and all else revolved around me. A frightening state of affairs, since egotism does not bring peace of mind or security. Self was most important to me, and that egotism was my downfall. When I fell off my high horse and hit bottom, I had nowhere to go except to something outside of myself.

As we compulsive overeaters take Step Two and come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity, then we begin to shift the center of our consciousness from ourselves to God. This is our only hope. As long as our weak selves are at the center, we cannot make real progress, either in controlling our addiction or in living useful lives.

When we hit bottom, we are humbled. When we are humbled, we are able to perceive and acknowledge that God is primary and that abstinence is our most important task. Values are sorted out and order brings inner peace and security.

You, Lord, are the center of my life.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 31, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019

Today, live just for today. I cannot nor do I want to forget yesterday for it has lessons to carry into tomorrow. Nor do I want to be so preoccupied with tomorrow that I neglect today for I may miss some good that someone or something has to offer. I can plan for tomorrow, but I cannot fret over it and dread what demons or challenges my yesterdays have programmed me to expect. But that programming from my yesterdays was dictated by a whiskey bottle and, God granting, there is no whiskey bottle in my today. I therefore cannot fear that what I do today will poison my tomorrow. My life, my sobriety, my hopes, my dreams, my fears, my recovery - all are today. Today is all I have, and I must not be lax in strengthening it to make tomorrow's today the promise of something good. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2019

Jan. 31, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019

AA Thought for the Day
Drinking cuts you off from God. No matter how you were brought up, no matter what your religion is, no matter if you say you believe in God, nevertheless you build up a wall between you and God by your drinking. You know you're not living the way God wants you to live. As a result, you have that terrible remorse. When you come into AA, you begin to get right with other people and with God. A sober life is a happy life because, by giving up drinking, we've got rid of our loneliness and remorse.

Do I have real fellowship with other people and with God?

Meditation for the Day
I believe that all sacrifice and all suffering is of value to me. When I am in pain, I am being tested. Can I trust God, no matter how low I feel? Can I say, "Thy will be done," no matter how much I am defeated? If I can, my faith is real and practical. It works in bad times as well as in good times. The Divine Will is working in a way that is beyond my finite mind to understand, but I can still trust in it.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may take my suffering in my stride. I pray that I may accept pain and defeat as part of God's plan for my spiritual growth.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 31, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019

Reflection for the Day
One of the most constructive things I can do is to learn to listen to myself and get in touch with my true feelings. For years, I tuned myself out, going along, instead, with what others felt and said. Even today, it sometimes seems that they have it all together, while I'm still stumbling about. Thankfully, I'm beginning to understand that people-pleasing takes many forms. Slowly but steadily, I've also begun to realize that it's possible for me to change my old patterns.

Will I encourage myself to tune in to the real me? Will I listen carefully to my own inner voice with the expectation that I'll hear some wonderful things?

Today I Pray
I pray that I may respect myself enough to listen to my real feelings, those emotions which for so long I refused to hear or name or own, which festered in me like a poison. May I know that I need to stop often, look at my feelings, listen to the inner me.

Today I Will Remember
I will own my feelings.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 31, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019

Nothing great was ever achieved without overcoming great obstacles, and no hero of history deserves more acclaim than those who were triumphant over self. But do not let us swell up too much with pride. If we are honest, we know that with our character-weakened souls, with our "fogbound" brains, we could accomplish nothing of ourselves. It was only when we, in our desperate surrender, threw our lives and our wills into His keeping that He, in His mercy, removed the obstacle. Unknown, even to ourselves, there must have slept in us that Faith of a mustard seed, that can remove mountains.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 31, 2019 - Let's get it in gear for a Thursday we intend to keep as stress-, worry-, drama- and trauma-free as we can make it


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Jan. 30, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

A man who studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green. — Francis Bacon

Where do we direct our energy? Are we spending time and thought on how we have been wronged? On the unfairness of life? Those who consume their resources in this way have few left for growth and development. Their wounds stay open for years, and they block the healing.

What will we need to set aside our resentments and hateful attitudes? Perhaps we have been passively waiting for the other guy to make amends. That only puts our enemies in charge of us. It would be better if we could say, “I am going to move on. The change that is needed for me to heal will come from within me. I will not put my happiness in another’s hands.” More than revenge, we want a life worth living—for ourselves and the ones we love. We can give our energies to that.

Lift from me the desire for revenge. Replace it with the fullness of a healed life.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 30, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019

Today, progress, not perfection. In recognizing the difference, I might learn patience over impatience not only with others but with myself. Progress requires that I focus on just this day while perfection forces me to look to the unrealistic and unattainable goals beyond today. And by preoccupying myself with tomorrow, I am likely to neglect something today - and that failure will likely sabotage any tomorrow I might have. Tomorrow will hold nothing good if I neglect today. Today, then, will be focused on one thing at a time and first things first. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2019

Jan. 30, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019

AA Thought for the Day
A drinking life isn't a happy life. Drinking cuts you off from other people and from God. One of the worst things about drinking is the loneliness. And one of the best things about AA is the fellowship. Drinking cuts you off from other people, at least from the people who really matter to you, your family, your co-workers and your real friends. No matter how much you love them, you build up a wall between you and them by your drinking. You're cut off from any real companionship with them. As a result, you're terribly lonely.

Have I got rid of my loneliness?

Meditation for the Day
I will sometimes go aside into a quiet place of retreat with God. In that place, I will find restoration and healing and power. I will plan quiet times now and then, times when I will commune with God and arise rested and refreshed to carry on the work which God has given me to do. I know that God will never give me a load greater than I can bear. It is in serenity and peace that all true success lies.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may strengthen my inner life, so that I may find serenity. I pray that my soul may be restored in quietness and peace.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 30, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019

Reflection for the Day
Have I gained freedom simply because one day I was weak and the next day I became suddenly strong? Have I changed from the helpless and hopeless person I once seemed to be simply by resolving, "from now on, things will be different ...?" Is the fact that I am more comfortable today than ever before the result of my own willpower? Can I take credit for pulling myself up by my own bootstraps? I know better, for I sought refuge in a Power greater than myself - a Power which is still beyond my ability to visualize.

Do I consider the change in my life a miracle far beyond the workings of any human power?

Today I Pray
As the days of sobriety lengthen, and the moment of decision becomes farther behind me, may I never lose sight of the Power that changed my life. May I remember that my sobriety is an ongoing miracle, not just a once-in-a-lifetime transformation.

Today I Will Remember
Life is an ongoing miracle.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 30, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019

After several years on the Program, we still have to guard against rationalizing. When it comes to selling ourselves a bill of goods, we are tops. Our drinking was most always occasioned by a "good reason," or so we thought; the real reason - the fact that we were alcoholics and therefore compulsive drinkers - never occurred to us. A good reason can always be found for our actions, but the real reason is frequently obscure. Lord, teach us to know the difference.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 30, 2019 - Good morning to another magnificent new day and Wednesday we want to be as worry-, stress- and problem free as possible


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Jan. 29, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

AA Thought for the Day
Now we can take an inventory of the good things that have come to us through A.A. To begin with, we’re sober today. That’s the biggest asset on any alcoholic’s books. Sobriety to us is like goodwill in business. Everything else depends on that. Most of us have jobs which we owe to our sobriety. We know we couldn’t hold these jobs if we were drinking, so our jobs depend on our sobriety. Most of us have wives or husbands and children, which we either had lost or might have lost, if we hadn’t stopped drinking. We have friends in A.A., real friends who are always ready to help us.

Do I realize that my job, my family, and my real friends are dependent upon my sobriety?

Meditation for the Day
I must trust God to the best of my ability. This lesson has to be learned. My doubts and fears continually drive me back into the wilderness. Doubts lead me astray, because I am not trusting God. I must trust God’s love. It will never fail me, but I must learn not to fail it by my doubts and fears. We all have much to learn in turning out fear by faith. All our doubts arrest God’s work through us. I must not doubt. I must believe in God and continually work at strengthening my faith.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may live the way God wants me to live. I pray that I may get into that stream of goodness in the world.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 29, 2019 - Please, if you are a pet owner whose pets are outside, bring them in from the dangerous cold out there

An appeal to pet owners who might have their pets outside to please bring them in during the dangerous cold weather that's gripping the Midwest and other parts of the country ...contrary to what many people think, animals feel the sting of the cold every much as people ...please, be responsible and humane and bring your pet indoors and, if you can, offer temporary shelter to a stray. Thank you!

Jan. 29, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019

Todayif I am holding onto a resentment that I have turned over to my Higher Power but taken back, I will do what the Program suggests: pray daily for two weeks for the target of my resentment. We are encouraged that the Program's suggestions that we use in recovery give us serenity and freedom from the character defects that weigh us down. No defect that weighs us down is stronger than resentment. Today, I'll give the Program's suggestion to pay for the person I resent a try, however grudgingly, and admit my prayers aren't totally altruistic. They are actually for me ...because the person I resent nor anyone else is worth the mental and physical cost of holding and feeding my resentment and anger. Enough is enough: no more empowering someone else to mess with my recovery and serenity. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2019

Jan. 29, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019

AA Thought for the Day
What a load wasting money puts on your shoulders! They say that members of AA have paid the highest initiation fee of any club members in the world, because we've wasted so much money on liquor. We'll never be able to figure out how much it was. We not only wasted our own money, but also the money we should have spent on our families. When you come into AA, that terrible load of wasted money falls off your shoulders. We alcoholics were getting round-shouldered from carrying all those loads that drinking put on our shoulders. But when we come into AA, we get a wonderful feeling of release and freedom.

Can I throw back my shoulders and look the whole world in the face again?

Meditation for the Day
I believe that the future is in the hands of God. He knows better than I what the future holds for me. I am not at the mercy of fate or buffeted about by life. I am being led in a very definite way, as I try to rebuild my life. I am the builder, but God is the architect. It is mine to build as best I can, under His guidance.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may depend on God, since He has planned my life. I pray that I may live my life as I believe God wants me to live it.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 29, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019

Reflection for the Day
I used to imagine my life as a grotesque abstract painting; a montage of crises framed by end-upon-end catastrophies. My days all were grey and my thoughts grayer still. I was haunted by dread and nameless fears. I was filled with self-loathing. I had no idea who I was, what I was or why I was. I miss none of those feelings. Today, step by step, I am discovering myself and learning that I can be free to be me.

Am I grateful for my new life? Have I taken the time to thank God today for the fact that I am clean and sober - and alive?

Today I Pray
May calm come to me after the turmoil and nightmares of the past. As my fears and self-hatred dissipate, may the things of the spirit replace them. For in the spiritual world, as in the material world, there is no empty space. May I be filled with the spirit of my Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember
Morning scatters nightmares.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 29, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019

On that awful day when the world had toppled about us, when all hope had departed and only wild desperation remained, then was the night darkest and nearest was the dawn. At this darkest hour, we "hit our bottom." There was no way to go but UP.

As dawn follows darkness in Nature's scheme, so darkness follows again in its turn. All things, save God, are transitory and what one day can bring, another day can take away. Let us not feel too secure in our sobriety, for darkness will come in the regular course of events, and we must be sure we have provided ourselves with the Light which will enable us to keep our footing on the slippery paths ahead.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 29, 2019 - Let's rev it up for Tuesday and just make it a great day even if it's Monday's ugly evil twin sister


Monday, January 28, 2019

Jan. 28, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, Jan. 28, 2019
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

We can never go back again, that much is certain. — Daphne DuMaurier

Yesterday is gone, but its experiences will be reflected in those of today. We learned from both the good and the bad situations of yesterday. Where we travel today, likewise, will influence our direction tomorrow. We can’t do over what has gone before, but we can positively incorporate all that life is offering us from this moment forth.

We are moving toward greater understanding of life’s mysteries with each experience. As today unfolds, we can be moved by the adventures. What we experience is ours alone and will contribute to the unfolding of our special destiny. We move forward, only forward. The doors behind us are closed forever.

Facing what comes to us, with strength, is a gift from this program we share. Letting go of the yesterdays and the last years is another gift offered by this program. And trust that what we face along with what we let go will weave the pattern of our rightful unfolding—that is the ultimate gift given to us by this program.

I will take a long look at where I am today and be grateful for my place. It’s right for me, now, and is preparing me for the adventure ahead.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 28, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, Jan. 28, 2019

Todayat day's end, I will look back and know by the grace of God that I did the best I could in all my affairs. If in prayer and meditation I find that I have not fully surrendered to my Higher Power some problem or character defect, I will know I have asked for the wisdom and humility to surrender it once and for all and that, if there is a tomorrow for me, I may be one day closer to that total surrender. I will not have reason to regret some communication with someone else because I was either cruel or indifferent to their needs or feelings. I will be grateful that I was not tempted to take the first drink that always leads to disaster, and I will go to sleep tonight with the comfort that my Higher Power blessed me with the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant." And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2019

Jan. 28, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Jan. 28, 2019

AA Thought for the Day
What a load hangovers put on your shoulders! What terrible physical punishment we've all been through. The pounding headaches and jumpy nerves, the shakes and the jitters, the hot and cold sweats! When you come into AA and stop drinking, that terrible load of hangovers falls off your shoulders. What a load remorse puts on your shoulders! That terrible mental punishment we've all been through. Ashamed of the things you've said and done. Afraid to face people because of what they might think of you. Afraid of the consequences of what you did when you were drunk. What an awful beating the mind takes! When you come into AA, that terrible load of remorse falls off your shoulders.

Have I got rid of these loads of hangovers and remorse?

Meditation for the Day
When you seek to follow the way of the spirit, it frequently means a complete reversal of the way of the world which you had previously followed. But it is a reversal that leads to happiness and peace. Do the aims and ambitions that a person usually strives for bring peace? Do the world's awards bring heart-rest and happiness? Or do they turn to ashes in the mouth?

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not be weary, disillusioned or disappointed. I pray that I may not put my trust in the ways of the world, but in the way of the Spirit.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 28, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, Jan. 28, 2019

Reflection for the Day
Now that I am in The Program, I am no longer enslaved by alcohol and other drugs. Free, free at last from the morning-after tremors, the dry heaves, the three-day beard, the misplaced eyelashes. Free, free at last from working out the alibis and hoping they won't unravel; free from blackouts; free from watching the clock so that I can somehow get that desperately needed "first one."

Do I treasure my freedom from chemical enslavement?

Today I Pray
Praise God that I am free of chemicals. This is my first freedom, from which other freedoms will develop - freedom to appraise my behavior sanely and constructively, freedom to grow as a person, freedom to maintain relationships with others on a sound basis. I will never cease to thank my Higher Power for leading me away from enslavement.

Today I Will Remember
Praise God for my freedom.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 28, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, Jan. 28, 2019

Man was created in the image of God. We are told that the heart of man is the Temple of the Holy Ghost. A realization of this fact makes the desecration of the body as sacrilegious as the desecration of any church.

We alcoholics have a lot of mess to clean up in our Temples in order to make them a fit place for communion with the God in us.

If we really want God to work in and through us in the rehabilitation of other alcoholics, we must provide Him at least a clean workshop.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 28, 2019 - Good morning to a brand spanking new Monday and week with confidence that both are going to be awesome


Sunday, January 27, 2019

Jan. 27, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Setting our own course

We are powerless over other people’s expectations of us. We cannot control what others want, what they expect, or what they want us to do and be.

We can control how we respond to other people’s expectations.

During the course of any day, people may make demands on our time, talents, energy, money, and emotions. We do not have to say yes to every request. We do not have to feel guilty if we say no. And we do not have to allow the barrage of demands to control the course of our life.

We do not have to spend our life reacting to others and to the course they would prefer we took with our life.

We can set boundaries, firm limits on how far we shall go with others. We can trust and listen to ourselves. We can set goals and direction for our life. We can place value on ourselves.

We can own our power with people.

Buy some time. Think about what you want. Consider how responding to another’s needs will affect the course of your life. We live or own life by not letting other people, their expectations, and their demands control the course of our life. We can let them have their demands and expectations; we can allow them to have their feelings. We can own our power to choose the path that is right for us.

Today, God, help me own my power by detaching, and peacefully choosing the course of action that is right for me. Help me know I can detach from the expectations and wants of others. Help me stop pleasing other people and start pleasing myself.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 27, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019

Today, "Let Go and Let God" does not absolve me from responsibility to be an active participant in my redemption from the damage and pain to others of my drinking days. "Let Go and Let God" commands that I turn my will over to my Higher Power for knowledge of HIS will for me and "the power to carry (it) out." It does not give me the easy out by expecting God to do it for me. In accepting a role in my recovery instead of expecting it to come to me by reading the Big Book and going to meetings, I understand that sobriety is a two-level process. On the surface, I cannot drink; on a deeper level, I cannot expect a change in spiritual and emotional conditions that come solely by not drinking. I am responsible for my condition as an alcoholic; likewise, I am responsible for my recovery. "Let Go and Let God" does not excuse me from either responsibility. Today, I "Let Go and Let God" by surrendering MY self-will and listening to my Higher Power for HIS will and how to carry it out. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2019

Jan. 27, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019

AA Thought for the Day
Alcoholics carry an awful load around with them. What a load lying puts on your shoulders! Drinking makes liars out of all of us alcoholics. In order to get the liquor we want, we have to lie all the time. We have to lie about where we've been and what we've been doing. When you are lying, you are only half alive because of the fear of being found out. When you come into AA and get honest with yourself and with other people, that terrible load of lying falls off your shoulders.

Have I got rid of that load of lying?

Meditation for the Day
I believe that in the spiritual world, as in the material world, there is no empty space. As fears and worries and resentments depart out of my life, the things of the spirit come in to take their places. Calm comes after a storm. As soon as I am rid of fears and hates and selfishness, God's love and peace and calm can come in.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may rid myself of all fears and resentments, so that peace and serenity may take their place. I pray that I may sweep my life clean of evil, so that good may come in.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 27, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019

Reflection for the Day
I can attain real dignity, importance and individuality only by a dependence on a Power which is great and good, beyond anything I can imagine or understand. I will try my utmost to use this Power in making all my decisions. Even though my human mind cannot forecast what the outcome will be, I will try to be confident that whatever comes will be for my ultimate good.

Just for today, will I try to live this day only, and not tackle my whole life problem at once?

Today I Pray
May I make no decision, engineer no change in the course of my lifestream, without calling upon my Higher Power. May I have faith that God's plan for me is better than any scheme I could devise for myself.

Today I Will Remember
God is the architect. I am the builder.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 27, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019

We alcoholics are the world's greatest squanderers. During our drinking days we squandered our money, our health, our time, our intellect, our reputations, in fact everything - not for a purpose, but to make ourselves oblivious to the fact that we were doing so.

We who have accepted the AA way of living must never give up our old habit, but we should learn to spend ourselves for a constructive purpose.

That purpose is to help the other alcoholic. We are the best qualified people in the world for the job. Years of conditioning and thousands of dollars went into the process of making us experts. We have no other means of atoning for the past, no other way of showing our appreciation for the Grace of God which saved us, but to squander ourselves for this world-needed purpose.

Hazelden Foundation

Jan. 27, 2019 - Good morning to a kick-it-back-and-relax Sunday of no stress, worry, trauma and drama


Saturday, January 26, 2019

Jan. 26, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

I have often thought morality may perhaps consist solely in the courage of making a choice. — Leon Blum

Sometimes, trying to do the right thing isn’t easy because it isn’t what we want to do. For instance, we may want to sneak a cookie to take to bed with us, or we may want to stay out late. But is that the right thing to do?

One way to tell is to think how we’ll feel after we’ve done it. Will we be happy, or will we feel guilty because we know in our hearts it is wrong? On the other hand, how would we feel if we resisted the temptation? Perhaps we’d feel great because we’d know in our hearts we’d done the right thing. And don’t we deserve to feel good about ourselves? Of course we do!

How wonderful it is that our feelings can help us do the right thing when we’re in doubt.

Will I have the courage to follow my true feelings today?

Hazelden Foundation