Tuesday, April 30, 2019

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

Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Enjoyment

Life is not to be endured; life is to be enjoyed and embraced.

The belief that we must square our shoulders and get through a meager, deprived existence for far off “rewards in Heaven” is a codependent belief.

Yes, most of us still have times when life will be stressful and challenge our endurance skills. But in recovery, we’re learning to live, to enjoy our life, and handle situations as they come.

Our survival skills have served us well. They have gotten us through difficult times—as children and adults. Our ability to freeze feelings, deny problems, deprive ourselves, and cope with stress has helped us get where we are today. But we’re safe now. We’re learning to do more than survive. We can let go of unhealthy survival behaviors. We’re learning new, better ways to protect and care for ourselves. We’re free to feel our feelings, identify and solve problems, and give ourselves the best. We’re free to open up and come alive.

Today, I will let go of my unhealthy endurance and survival skills. I will choose a new mode of living, one that allows me to be alive and enjoy the adventure.

Hazelden Foundation

April 30, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Today, instead of an alcoholic, I'm a soberholic. If "alcoholic" calls attention to the fact that I am addicted to alcohol, can't "soberholic" stake my addiction to sobriety? Despite AA's progress in striking down the image of the alcoholic as the down-and-out'er sleeping in alleys or drying out in a flophouse, a jail's drunk tank or mental hospital, a stigma remains. Might I be able to erode that stigma by labeling my addiction to sobriety instead of to alcohol? If so, maybe I can renew my self-confidence and weaken any temptation or lingering doubt about drinking again. As someone addicted to sobriety, why do I need alcohol? Today, at the risk of angering those who warn against trading one addiction for another, I'll substitute dependence on alcohol for addiction to sobriety. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2019

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

AA Thought for the Day
The AA program is one of faith because we find that we must have faith in a Power greater than ourselves if we are going to get sober. We're helpless before alcohol, but when we turn our drink problem over to God and have faith that He can give us all the strength we need, then we have the drink problem licked. Faith in that Divine Principle in the universe which we call God is the essential part of the AA program.

Is faith still strong in me?

Meditation for the Day
Each one of us is a child of God, and as such, we are full of the promise of spiritual growth. A young person is like the springtime of the year. The full time of the fruit is not yet, but there is promise of the blossom. There is a spark of the Divine in every one of us. Each has some of God's spirit which can be developed by spiritual exercise. Know that your life is full of glad promise. Such blessings can be yours, such joys, such wonders, as long as you develop in the sunshine of God's love.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may develop the divine spark within me. I pray that by so doing I may fulfill the promise of a more abundant life.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Reflection for the Day
We're taught in The Program that "faith without works is dead." How true this is for the addicted person. For if an addicted person fails to perfect or enlarge his or her spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, s/he can't survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If s/he doesn't work, s/he'll surely return to his or her addiction; and if s/he returns to addiction, s/he'll likely die. Then faith will be dead indeed.

Do I believe, through my faith, that I can be uniquely useful to those who still suffer?

Today I Pray
May my faith in my Higher Power and in the influence of The Program be multiplied within me as I pass it along to others who are overcoming similar addictions. May I be certain that my helping others is not simply repaying my debts, but it is the only way I know to continue my spiritual growth and maintain my own sobriety.

Today I Will Remember
The more faith I can give, the more I will have.

Hazelden Foundation

April 30, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

It is most discouraging to many of us to find, after many weary months of trying to work on our moral inventory and studied efforts to eliminate some of our worst character defects, that the more we do the more we find to do. It is not that we are not making progress, but as we steady ourselves from a coldly analytical viewpoint, we find more defects than we ever realized we possessed.

Do not become discouraged when this situation exists. It is very evident proof of progress that you have come to a conscious realization that these new defects exist and you are at least bringing them out in the open where you can get a crack at them.

Hazelden Foundation

April 30, 2019 - Good morning to a terrific and beautiful Tuesday


Monday, April 29, 2019

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

Monday, April 29, 2019
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

If it’s sanity you’re after, there’s no recipe like laughter.  Henry Rutherford Elliot

A smile is the earliest form of communication. A human infant smiles in the first few weeks of life. As the child grows, it learns how to turn the smile into a laugh—a joyous response reflecting pleasure.

A sense of humor, a feeling of fun, and an ability to laugh are all signs of emotional maturity. Healthy laughter frees us; it is the sunshine that makes life’s shadows interesting. When we develop the ability to see the humor in a situation, we gain the ability to handle it.

We were born with smiles. They are as much a part of us as our teeth and hair. Polished and cared for, our smiles can grow into a sense of humor that will help us through the painful times.

How can I turn troubles into smiles today?

Hazelden Foundation

April 29, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, April 29, 2019

Today, service to others as an essential element in my recovery, that expending some of my attention on something other than myself may make my problems not as bad as I think they are. Service can range from giving a talk, talking to a sponsor or sponsee, volunteering to make the coffee for a meeting or simply listening to someone else's problems or experiences. And possibly, the problems I have - or think I have and maybe exaggerate - may seem somewhat less serious. Adversely, I must respect prudence in not expending myself to the extreme that my own needs are sacrificed and neglected. In the end, my program requires that I not focus all that I have completely on myself and that sharing or volunteering for service work may make my own problems less heavy. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2019

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, April 29, 2019

AA Thought for the Day
The AA program is one of faith, hope and charity. It's a program of hope because when new members come into AA, the first thing they get is hope. They hear older members tell how they had been through the same kind of hell that they have and how they found the way out through AA. And this gives them hope that if others can do it, they can do it.

Is hope still strong in me?

Meditation for the Day
The rule of God's kingdom is perfect order, perfect harmony, perfect supply, perfect love, perfect honesty, perfect obedience. There is no discord in God's kingdom, only some things still unconquered in God's children. The difficulties of life are caused by disharmony in the individual man or woman. People lack power because they lack harmony with God and with each other. They think that God fails because power is not manifested in their lives. God does not fail. People fail because they are out of harmony with Him.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be in harmony with God and with other people. I pray that this harmony will result in strength and success.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Monday, April 29, 2019

Reflection for the Day
As I grow in The Program - sharing, caring and becoming more and more active - I find that it's becoming easier to live in the Now. Even my vocabulary is changing. No longer is every other sentence salted with such well-used phrases as "could've," "should've," "would've," "might've." What's done is done and what will be will be. The only time that really matters is Now.

Am I gaining real pleasure and serenity and peace in The Program?

Today I Pray
That I may collect all my scattered memories from the past and high-flown schemes and overblown fears for the future and compact them into the neater confines of Today. Only by living in the Now may I keep my balance, without bending backwards to the past or tipping forward into the future. May I stop trying to get my arms around my whole unwieldy lifetime and carry it around in a gunny sack with me wherever I go.

Today I Will Remember
Make room for today.

Hazelden Foundation

April 29, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, April 29, 2019

Effort has been made to carry AA into schools and young people's organizations, but the effective response has been so negligible that it has usually been abandoned after a short trial.

AA is a program for ALCOHOLICS - persons suffering from alcoholism. It was designed to appeal to them and them only. It is probably true that we can tell the kids a lot about drinking, but it will fall on deaf ears. Unfortunately, we must be pricked by the sharp thorn of experience in order to learn.

Hazelden Foundation

April 29, 2019 - Let's rev it up for Monday and a whole new week


Sunday, April 28, 2019

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

Sunday, April 28, 2019
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Everyone is a bore to someone. That is unimportant. The thing to avoid is being a bore to oneself.Gerald Brenan

As teenagers most of us were very self-conscious and concerned about how we looked to others. That was a normal stage in development. But, for many of us, our addictions began at that age, or the addictions of others affected us. Our emotional development stopped. We didn’t develop an inner reference point, a relationship with our Higher Power that influenced us and helped us weigh other people’s opinions.

In recovery, we resumed our emotional and spiritual development where it had stopped. It is liberating to know that how we feel about something is important. We can follow our interests and pursue our commitments. We need not be ruled by others’ feelings. With our regular pattern of taking our inventory, praying, and meditating, we are developing a relationship with ourselves which builds character and maturity.

Today, I will give importance to how I feel, what I believe, and what is interesting to me.

Hazelden Foundation

April 28, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, April 28, 2019

Today, no running from mistakes with a sense of failure or blaming someone. No recovery program works towards perfection because no person will or can achieve it. Likewise, I cannot and must not impose that unreachable goal on myself - and others. AA's 10th Step says, in part, we "promptly admitted" when we are wrong - not if. Thus, let me not be so vain as to place responsibility for my mistakes, big and small, on someone or something else. Adversely, let me not be discouraged by a sense of failure when I stumble in word, thought and deed. Instead, let me be open to owning my mistakes, identifying the reason for them and correcting the reason so that I do not repeat them. Today, I am not perfect and I cannot expect myself to be - nor can I expect anyone and anything else to be. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2019

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, April 28, 2019

AA Thought for the Day
We're so glad to be free from liquor that we do something about it. We get into action. We come to meetings regularly. We go out and try to help other alcoholics. We pass on the good news whenever we get a chance. In a spirit of thankfulness to God, we get into action. The AA program is simple. Submit yourself to God, find release from liquor and get into action. Do these things and keep doing them and you're all set for the rest of your life.

Have I got into action?

Meditation for the Day
God's eternal quest must be the tracking down of souls. You should join Him in His quest. Through briars, through waste places, through glades, up mountain heights, down into valleys. God leads you. But ever with His leadership goes your helping hand. Glorious to follow where the Leader goes. You are seeking lost sheep. You are bringing the good news into places where it has not been known before. You may not know which soul you will help, but you can leave all results to God. Just go with Him in His eternal quest for souls.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may follow God in His eternal quest for souls. I pray that I may offer God my helping hand.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Sunday, April 28, 2019

Reflection for the Day
I will resolve to observe with new interest even the commonplace things that happen today. If I learn to see everything with a fresh eye, perhaps I'll find I have countless reasons for contentment and gratitude. When I find myself trapped in the quicksand of my negative thoughts, I'll turn away from them - and grab for the life-saving strength of sharing with others in The Program.

Do I carry my weight as an all-important link in the worldwide chain of The Program?

Today I Pray
I pray that God will open my eyes to the smallest everyday wonders, that I may notice and list among my blessings things like just feeling good, being able to think clearly. Even when I make a simple, unimportant choice like whether to order coffee or tea or a soft drink, may I be reminded that the power of choice is a gift from God.

Today I Will Remember
I am blessed with the freedom of choice.

Hazelden Foundation

April 28, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, April 28, 2019

The span of human life is such a small part of eternity that the length of your life, whether it be 20 years or 100, is of no moment. Yet the lifespan of some men has, and will continue to have, great influence upon many succeeding generations.

If you can by one single act do something that will benefit just one person 50 years from now, you will have done more than millions who have before you. Few leave anything to posterity when they die that will outlive their tombstone.

Hazelden Foundation

April 28, 2019 - Good morning to a relaxing and fun Sunday


Saturday, April 27, 2019

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

Saturday, April 27, 2019
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

AA Thought for the Day
If we get up in a meeting and tell something about ourselves in order to help the other person, we feel a whole lot better. It’s the old law of the more you give the more you get. Witnessing and confession are part of keeping sober. You never know when you may help somebody. Helping others is one of the best ways to stay sober yourself. And the satisfaction you get out of helping a fellow human being is one of the finest experiences you can have.

Am I helping others?

Meditation for the Day
Without God, no real victory is ever won. All the military victories of great conquerors have passed into history. The world might be better off without military conquerors. The real victories are won in the spiritual realm. “He that conquers himself is greater than he who conquers a city.” The real victories are victories over sin and temptation, leading to a victorious and abundant life. Therefore, keep a brave and trusting heart. Face all your difficulties in the spirit of conquest. Remember that where God is, there is the true victory.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that the forces of evil in my life will flee before God’s presence. I pray that with God I will win the real victory over myself.

Hazelden Foundation

April 27, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Saturday, April 27, 2019

Today, character defects of frustration and impatience as they relate to relationships and communications. As a drinking alcoholic, frustration and impatience walked hand-in-hand when it came to dealing with others: frustration of impatience with people who did not react how and when I expected. As a recovering alcoholic, frustration and impatience still walk hand-in-hand in dealing with others. Clearly, little change. Also clearly, abstaining from the bottle isn't all that recovery requires. A fundamental reformation in character and emotions is needed. If I overreact when people do not respond when and how I think they should, maybe I am the problem. Today, I work consciously and conscientiously on my defects of frustration and impatience by considering the possibility that someone other than myself might have a better idea. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2019


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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, April 27, 2019

AA Thought for the Day
By submitting to God, we're released from the power of liquor. It has no more hold on us. We're also released from the things that were holding us down: pride, selfishness, and fear. And we're free to grow into a new life, which is so much better than the old life that there's no comparison. This release gives us serenity and peace with the world.

Have I been released from the power of alcohol?

Meditation for the Day
We know God by spiritual vision. We feel that He is beside us. We feel His presence. Contact with God is not made by the senses. Spirit-consciousness replaces sight. Since we cannot see God, we have to perceive Him by spiritual perception. God has to span the physical and the spiritual with the gift to us of spiritual vision. Many persons, though they cannot see God, have had a clear spiritual consciousness of Him. We are inside a box of space and time, but we know there must be something outside of that box - limitless space, eternity of time, and God.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may have a consciousness of God's presence. I pray that God will give me spiritual vision.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Saturday, April 27, 2019

Reflection for the Day
Am I so sure I'm doing everything possible to make my new life a success? Am I using my capabilities well? Do I recognize and appreciate all I have to be grateful for? The Program and its Twelve Steps teach me that I am the possessor of unlimited resources. The more I do with them, the more they will grow - to overshadow and cancel out the difficult and painful feelings that now get so much of my attention.

Am I less sensitive today than when I first came to The Program?

Today I Pray
May I make the most of myself in all ways. May I begin to look outward to people and opportunities and wonderful resources around me. As I become less ingrown and understand myself better in relation to others, may I be less touchy and thin-skinned. May I shrug off my old "the world-is-out-to-get-me" feeling and see that same world as my treasure-house, God-given and boundless.

Today I Will Remember 
My resources are unlimited.

Hazelden Foundation

April 27, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Saturday, April 27, 2019

Real reforms are in people, not in movements. All the laws and demands of church, state and family could not make us change our drinking habits. But the day eventually came when we wanted to change and then, and then only, was the change possible. Prohibition legislation was only a challenge to us and we drank the more because they said we could not. We were determined to show those So-and-So's they couldn't stop us.

Only when we, ourselves, wanted to do something about it was any real reformation possible.

Hazelden Foundation

April 27, 2019 - Rise 'n shine for a splendid Saturday and weekend


Friday, April 26, 2019

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

Friday, April 26, 2019
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

If we are suffering illness, poverty, or misfortune, we think we shall be satisfied on the day it ceases. — Simone Weil

Perhaps it’s the human condition never to be satisfied and yet always to think, “If only…” However, the more we look within for wholeness, the greater will be our acceptance of all things, at all times.

So frequently we hear that happiness is within. But what does that mean when we may have just lost the job that supported us and our children? Or when the car won’t start and funds are low? Or when we are feeling really scared and don’t know whom to talk to or where to go? “Happiness is within” is such a grand platitude at those times.

Nevertheless, our security in any situation is within, if we but know how to tap it. It is within because that is where the strength we are blessed with resides, the strength given us from the power greater than ourselves. “Going within” takes, first, a decision. Next, it takes stillness, and then, patience. But peace will come.

We will quit wanting when we have learned how to turn to our inner strength. We will find serenity rather than suffering.

I will go within whenever I feel the rumblings of dissatisfaction today. I will look there for my joy and sense of well-being and know that divine order is in charge.

Hazelden Foundation