Friday, May 31, 2019

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

Friday, May 31, 2019
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

How much bondage and suffering a woman escapes when she takes the liberty of being her own physician of both body and soul. — Elizabeth Cady Stanton

If we listen to ourselves, to the innermost voice of our Spirits, we know that we have the power to heal ourselves. Self-healing begins with making our own decisions—about what we wear, what we do, who we are—and deciding that we will be true to ourselves. With the help of our spiritual guide, we can resist the temptations to betray ourselves, for these temptations are born of fear; the fear that we are not good enough to be our “own physicians.”

To give away our powers bind us and cause us to suffer. But we can go to others for help without losing our own strength.

Today and every day, I will pray for the wisdom to choose wise counselors and the strength to love and heal myself.

Hazelden Foundation

May 31, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Friday, May 31, 2019

"...(D)eep down in every man, woman and child is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as old as man himself." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 4 ("We Agnostics"), p 55.

Today, if I expect the Program to work for me, I must work with it, and I must knock down the wall that separates me from a power stronger than myself to begin my recovery. If I am struggling or even rejecting the possibility of such a power, let me read and embrace these words and accept on blind faith the hope that somewhere inside me is a "fundamental idea of God." He, God, need not be a religious entity but a spiritual one, and a "spiritual awakening," even if it is a basic change in my psyche or character, is required if I am to achieve any kind of quality sobriety. Today, I must put aside any resistance and open myself to the idea of a power stronger than myself so that I can earn the benefits of recovery. If alcohol is stronger than me, I have to believe that a force stronger than alcohol can restore me. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2019

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, May 31, 2019

AA Thought for the Day
I shall not wait to be drafted for service to AA. I shall volunteer. I shall be loyal in my attendance, generous in my giving, kind in my criticism, creative in my suggestions, loving in my attitudes. I shall give to AA my interest, my enthusiasm, my devotion and, most of all, myself.

Do I also accept this as my AA credo?

Meditation for the Day
Prayer is of many kinds but, of whatever kind, prayer is the linking up of the soul and mind to God. So, if prayer is only a glance of faith, a look or a word of love or just a feeling of confidence in the goodness and purpose in the universe, still the result of that prayer is added strength to meet all temptations and to overcome them. Even if no supplication is expressed, all the supply of strength that is necessary is secured because the soul, being linked and united to God, receives from Him all spiritual help needed. The soul, when in its human body, still needs the things belonging to its heavenly habitation.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be taught how to pray. I pray that I may be linked through prayer to the mind and will of God.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Friday, May 31, 2019

Reflection for the Day
Giving love is a fulfillment in itself. It must not matter whether love is returned or not. If I give love only to get a response on my terms, my love is cancelled out by my motives. If I have the capacity to give love, then any return I get for it is a special bonus. It is through giving love freely and without expectation of return, that we find ourselves and build ourselves spiritually.

Have I begun to believe, in the words of Goethe, that"Love does not dominate; it cultivates ...?"

Today I Pray
May I, the inveterate people-pleaser and approval-seeker, know that the only real love does not ask for love back. May God be patient as I try to practice this principle. May I rid myself of pride that throws itself in the way of love. May I discard my silly cat-and-mouse games that have no place in real love.

Today I Will Remember
I will not give love to get love.

Hazelden Foundation

May 31, 2019 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Friday, May 31, 2019

For a person to attempt to live apart from this world is as useless as for a drop of water to live apart from the ocean. God put everything in this world, and He takes nothing out. To endeavor to withdraw from the world's activities is another way of fooling yourself. We are an influence for good or evil regardless of our attempts to hide from society at large.

When a rock falls from a cliff into the sea, it is not merely that the land is one rock less, it means the contour of the whole continent has changed. However, it is still a part of God's Universe whether it can be seen by man or not.

Hazelden Foundation

May 31, 2019 - Good morning to the finally here Happy Dance Friday


Thursday, May 30, 2019

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

Thursday, May 30, 2019
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Work histories

Just as we have relationship histories, most of us have work histories.

Just as we have a present circumstance to accept and deal with in our relationship life, we have a present circumstance to accept and deal with in our work life.

Just as we develop a healthy attitude toward our relationship history—one that will help us learn and move forward—we can develop a healthy attitude toward our work history.

I have worked many jobs in my life, since I was eleven years old. Just as I have learned many things about myself through my relationships, I have learned many lessons through my work. Often, these lessons run parallel to the lessons I’m learning in other areas of my life.

The more I refused to lose my soul to a job and worked at it because I wanted to and not for the paycheck, the less victimized I felt by any career, even those jobs that paid a meager salary. The more I set goals and took responsibility for achieving the career I wanted, the more I could decide whether a particular job fit into that scheme of things. I could understand why I was working at a particular job and how that was going to benefit me.

There are times I have even panicked at work and about where I was in my employment history. Panic never helped. Trust and working my program did.

There were times I looked around and wondered why I was where I was. There were times people thought I should be someplace different. But when I looked into myself and at God, I knew I was in the right place, for the moment.

There were times I have had to quit a job and walk away in order to be true to myself. Sometimes, that was frightening. Sometimes, I felt like a failure. But I learned this: If I was working my program and true to myself, I never had to fear where I was being led.
There have been times I couldn’t survive on the small amount of money I was receiving. Instead of bringing that issue to a particular employer and making it his or her fault, I have had to learn to bring the issue to my Higher Power and myself. I’ve learned I’m responsible for setting my boundaries and establishing what I believe I deserve. I’ve also learned God, not a particular employer, is my source of guidance.

I’ve learned that I’m not stuck or trapped in a job no more than I am in a relationship. I have choices. I may not be able to see them clearly right now, but I do have choices. I’ve learned that if I really want to take care of myself in a particular way on a job, I will do that. And if I really want to be victimized by a job, I will allow that to happen too.
I am responsible for my choices, and I have choices.

Above all else, I’ve learned to accept and trust my present circumstances at work. That does not mean to submit; it does not mean to forego boundaries. It means to trust, accept, then take care of myself the best I’m able to on any given day.

God, help me bring my recovery behaviors to my career affairs.

Hazelden Foundation

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

Step by Step
Thursday, May 30, 2019

"The old pattern reasserted itself, but it was no longer once every six months. The intervals grew shorter. The binges were longer. They were harder to get off. I wasn't the type that could taper off. I had to stop cold. My last binge followed the previous one by two weeks. I had just come off a good one, and I went back on to the next one." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "They Lost Nearly All," Ch 3 ("Desperation Drinking"), p 514. 

Today, guard against the passage of time and my last drunk from fading the memory of what my drinking days were really like - pure desperation. If it is true that the best predictor of my future is my past conduct, I cannot afford to "romanticize" my drinking, that it was "fun" and that it didn't rip a path of destruction through myself and others. God grant me the honesty and wisdom to remember the desperation that finally pushed me to seek help after I exhausted all the denial, justifications and rationalizations. Let me understand and accept that desperation is all that awaits me again if I am not honest with myself in remembering what active alcoholism is truly like. Today, the desperation that is always there to greet me again can wait. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2019

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, May 30, 2019

AA Thought for the Day
I am part of AA, one among many, but I am one. I need the AA principles for the development of the buried life within me. AA may be human in its organization, but it is Divine in its purpose. The purpose is to point men toward God and a better life. Participating in the privilege of the movement, I shall share in the responsibilities, taking it upon myself to carry my fair share of the load, not grudgingly but joyfully. To the extent that I fail in my responsibilities, AA fails. To the extent that I succeed, AA succeeds.

Do I accept this as my AA credo?

Meditation for the Day
"Praise the Lord."  What does praising God mean? It means being grateful for all the wonderful things in the universe and for all the blessings in your life. So praise God by being grateful and humble. Praise of this kind has more power to vanquish evil than has mere resignation. The truly grateful and humble person who is always praising God is not tempted to do wrong. You will have a feeling of security because you know that fundamentally all is well. So look up to God and praise Him.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be grateful for all my blessings. I pray that I may be humble because I know that I do not deserve them.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Thursday, May 30, 2019

Reflection for the Day
Since I've been in The Program, I've learned to redefine love. I've come to understand, for example, that sometimes it's necessary to place love ahead of indiscriminate "factual honesty." No longer, under the guise of "perfect honesty," can I cruelly and unnecessarily hurt others. Today, I always must ask myself, "What's the best and most loving thing I can do?"

Have I begun to sow the seeds of love in my daily living?

Today I Pray
May God, in His love, show me how to be loving. May I first sense the feelings of love and caring within me and then find ways to show those feelings. May I remember how many times I cut myself off from relationships because I did not know how either to let myself feel love or to show what I did feel.

Today I Will Remember
When I feel love, I will be loving.

Hazelden Foundation

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

The Eye Opener
Thursday, May 30, 2019

We are all familiar with that class of people who have a drinking problem; they know they have it and they know that they can do nothing about it themselves. They also know that we had a similar problem and that we did something about it; their own eyes bear testimony to that effect - yet they refuse to take the message we bring them. They have ears, yet they will not hear. It is not our purpose to sell them a bill of goods. Our message is only for those who want it. They aren't ready yet, so conserve your efforts for those who are hungry for what we have to give.

Hazelden Foundation

May 30, 2019 - Let's kick it in gear for an awesome Thursday


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

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

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

To be able to invite pain to join in my experience and not have to control my life to avoid pain is such a freedom! — Christina Baldwin

If we really stopped to think about it, we would be astounded to discover how much of our time is spent trying to avoid pain. We are afraid to say what we think or tell others our needs because we fear rejection. We are afraid to face the pain of our own anger. We are afraid of telling others who we are. When we are afraid of opening up to others for fear they will hurt us, we are not free, we are prisoners of our own fears.

Pain is a natural part of life, and we are gifted with the ability to feel it. Pain teaches us, makes us work harder sometimes, and it helps us appreciate pleasure.

When we accept pain, and stop exhausting ourselves trying to avoid it, we will be free to live life more fully and without so much worry.

How has my own fear limited my freedom?

Hazelden Foundation

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

Step by Step
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

"Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." - Step Two

Today, whether a newcomer or veteran of the Program, if the term Higher Power discourages me because my faith has been ravaged by alcohol or a less than serene sobriety, let me re-read and understand the literal interpretation of Step Two. We are not asked to believe but come to believe in the possibility of a Higher Power. If I shrug off that possibility, I need only look to why I came to the program. And in doing that, I also reached for the possibility that some help I needed desperately exists. But if I cannot yet grasp the concept of a Higher Power, let me believe that Step Two is telling me that coming to believe in and accepting a Higher Power is a dynamic process, or one that might evolve. Just as I did not become sober after my last drink however long ago it was and went from dry to sober, so it goes with developing an understanding of the principles of the Twelve Steps. Today, I will not give up if I do not  believe in that Higher Power and instead will proceed with the promise of Step Two that I will one day find it. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2019

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

AA Thought for the Day
We who have learned to put our drink problem in God's hands can help others to do so. We can be used as a connection between an alcoholic's need and God's supply of strength. We in Alcoholics Anonymous can be uniquely useful just because we have the misfortune or fortune to be alcoholics ourselves. Do I want to be a uniquely useful person?

Will I use my own greatest defeat and failure and sickness as a weapon to help others?

Meditation for the Day
I will try to help others. I will try not to let a day pass without reaching out an arm of love to someone. Each day I will try to do something to lift another human being out of the sea of discouragements into which he or she has fallen. My helping hand is needed to raise the helpless to courage, to strength, to faith, to health. In my own gratitude, I will turn and help other alcoholics with the burden that is pressing too heavily upon them.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be used by God to lighten many burdens. I pray that many souls may be helped through my efforts.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Reflection for the Day
When we first reached The Program and for the first time in our lives stood among people who seemed to understand, the sense of belonging was exhilarating. We felt that the problem of isolation had been solved. We soon discovered, however, that while we weren't alone any more, in a social sense, we still suffered many of the old pangs of anxious apartness. Until we had talked with complete candor of our conflicts and had listened to someone else do the same thing, we still didn't belong. Step Five was the answer.

Have I found through the Fifth Step the beginning of true kinship with my fellows and God?

Today I Pray
May God help me learn to share myself, my attributes and my failings, not just as I take the Fifth Step but in a continuing give-and-take process with my friends. May I cultivate an attitude of openness and honesty with others, now that I have begun to be honest with myself. May I remember who I used to be - the child in a game of hide-and-seek, who hid so well that nobody could find her/him and everyone gave up trying and went home.

Today I Will Remember
I will be open to friendship.

Hazelden Foundation

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

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Life has been hard on us, but most of it was made hard by ourselves. The hard life, however, taught us much: it strengthened our muscles; it broadened our experiences. We are better men because of it. We have known much of hunger, pain, defeat, mental anguish, despair and shame. Only the good survived this ordeal, and we can alleviate the sufferings of the world all the better because we have suffered also.

God was not punishing us ...He was conditioning us.

Hazelden Foundation

May 29, 2019 - It's already a great Wednesday 'cause we're halfway to the weekend


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

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

Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

“Wait’ll next year!” is the favorite cry of baseball fans, football fans, hockey fans, and gardeners. — Robert Orben

Hope was a casualty for many of us in our life of chaos and extremes. Some of us said to ourselves, “Life is just drab, I’d better get used to it.” We may have slowly changed our definition of normal to mean a hopeless existence. Others of us held onto some shred of hope that said “Better times are just around the comer,” but it only kept us from confronting how disastrous our lives had become. We are brothers in that we truly have been men on a dead-end path.

Our new lives have seen the dawning of true hope that has a solid base upon reality. We have the reality of friendships with our brothers and sisters. They provide comfort and support which are reliable and durable. We have the reality of our clearer thinking and our amended lives. We may not have everything we could desire, but we are actually on the road and progressing in directions we wish to go. We are engaged in the adventure of increasing our conscious contact with God. Our hope is founded in what we already feel in our lives.

Today, nothing is perfect, but hope underlies everything. With the return of hope, I have my life back again.

Hazelden Foundation

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

Step by Step
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Today, my character defects in my Fourth and the amends in my Eighth steps are not confined to wrongs of commission but also to my wrongs of omission. With that, my Fourth and Eighth steps, hopefully, will be more honest. My moral inventory and amends I have tried before have focused on things I have done or said, but they have not included my wrongs done by not saying or doing what I should have. Maybe I neglected or refused to return love or support that someone who stood beside me in my darkest days, or maybe I didn't answer someone's call for help. Today, I return to my Fourth and Eighth steps to decide if I owe restitution not for what I did and said, but for what I didn't do and said. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2019

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

AA Thought for the Day
In AA, we learn that since we are alcoholics we can be uniquely useful people. That is, we can help other alcoholics when perhaps somebody who has not had our experience with drinking could not help them. That makes us uniquely useful. The AA's are a unique group of people because they have taken their own greatest defeat and failure and sickness and used it as a means of helping others. We who have been through the same thing are the ones who can best help other alcoholics.

Do I believe that I can be uniquely useful?

Meditation for the Day
I should try to practice the presence of God. I can feel that He is with me and near me, protecting and strengthening me always. In spite of every difficulty, every trial, every failure, the presence of God suffices. Just to believe that He is near me brings strength and peace. I should try to live as though God were beside me. I cannot see Him because I was not made with the ability to see Him else there were no room for faith. But I can feel His spirit with me.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may try to practice the presence of God. I pray that by doing so I may never feel alone or helpless again.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Reflection for the Day
We've all had times when we felt alienated, when it seemed we had nowhere to turn and no one to turn to. When we don't know which way to turn, when there seems to be no one to help us, even then we're not alone or without help - the presence of God is always with us. When we need strength or courage or comfort, God is there with us as the help we need. Even before we turn to God, His love reaches out to us; His loving Spirit in us hears our cry and answers us.

Do I truly believe that I no longer need be alone?

Today I Pray
May I never be alone, even in a place by myself, if I take time to talk to my Higher Power. May He be my companion, my joy, my ever-present help in trouble. May the knowledge of His constant presence fill me with calm, so that I will not fear either the solitude of my own room or alienation in a roomful of people.

Today I Will Remember
Listen for the presence of God.

Hazelden Foundation

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

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Love is as necessary to a human being as sunshine is to a plant. Without it, the soul of man withers, shrivels and dies. Fortunate is the man who has love given to him, but even more fortunate is he who earns it. The only way to earn love is to love. Thou shalt love thy God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself.

He who hoards love shall lose it, but he who scatters love about him as he moves through life finds that it takes root and surrounds him on every side.

Hazelden Foundation

May 28, 2019 - Let's rev it up for a beautiful and awesome Tuesday


Monday, May 27, 2019

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

Monday, May 27, 2019
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

AA Thought for the Day
We have this choice every day of our lives. We can take the path that leads to insanity and death. And remember, our next drunk could be our last one. Or we can take the path that leads to a reasonably happy and useful life. The choice is ours each day of our lives. God grant that we take the right path.

Have I made my choice today?

Meditation for the Day
Your real work in life is to grow spiritually. To do this you must follow the path of diligently seeking good. The hidden spiritual wonders are revealed to those who diligently seek this treasure. From one point to the next, you have to follow the way of obedience to God’s will until finally you reach greater and greater spiritual heights. Work on the material plane should be secondary to your real life’s work. The material things that you need most are those that help you to attain the spiritual.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may keep growing spiritually. I pray that I may make this my real life’s work.

Hazelden Foundation

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

Step by Step
Monday, May 27, 2019

Today, appreciation to the spouse, companion, brothers and sisters, parents, children and friends who wanted to help me as I spiraled out of control but who I shut out, who were and are still there in my recovery. In being focused on my recovery and working the Steps, I have probably been negligent to admit that the hell I put someone else through might have been worse than my own. And I have to acknowledge that they, too, have their own recoveries to work. Today, I will be grateful and offer to anyone who stayed with me a simple thank you and, to them, my superior amend is that, today, I can and will stay sober. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2019

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, May 27, 2019

AA Thought for the Day
In Twelfth-Step work, the fifth thing is continuance. Continuance means our staying with prospects after they have started on the new way of living. We must stick with them and not let them down. We must encourage them to go to meetings regularly for fellowship and help. They will learn that keeping sober is a lot easier in the fellowship of others who are trying to do the same thing. We must continue to help prospects by going to see them regularly or telephoning them or writing them so that they don't get out of touch with AA. Continuance means good sponsorship.

Do I care enough about other alcoholics to continue with them as long as necessary?

Meditation for the Day
Every strong and beautiful flower must have a strong root in the ground. It must send a root down so that it may be rooted and grounded while at the same time it sends a shoot up to be the flower that shall gladden the world. Both growths are necessary. Without a strong root, it would soon wither. The higher the growth upward, the deeper must be the rooting. My life cannot flower into success and helpfulness until it is rooted in a strong faith, or unless it feels deeply secure in the goodness and purpose of the universe.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that my life may be deeply rooted in faith. I pray that I may feel deeply secure.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Monday, May 27, 2019

Reflection for the Day
When I have only myself to talk to, the conversation gets sort of one-sided. Trying to talk myself out of a drink or a pill or a "small wager" or just one chocolate eclair is sort of like trying self-hypnosis. It simply doesn't work; most of the time, it's about as effective as trying to talk myself out of a case of diarrhea. When my heart is heavy and my resistance low, I can always find some comfort in sharing with a true and understanding friend in The Program.

Do I know who my friends are?

Today I Pray
May I be convinced that, as part of God's master plan, we were put here to help each other. May I be as open about asking for help as I am ready to give it, no matter how long I have been in The Program. May the experiences of countless others be enough to prove to me that "talking myself out of it" seldom works, that the mutual bolstering that comes from sharing with a friend usually does.

Today I Will Remember
When I ask for help, I am helping.

Hazelden Foundation

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

The Eye Opener
Monday, May 27, 2019

To follow the letter of the law is not enough. You can be moral without difficulty in "solitary."

Do not let your morality be simply restraining and abstaining. Be constructive in your goodness. Be good for something.

Hazelden Foundation

May 27, 2019 - Glad to see ya' again, Monday ...said no one ever


Sunday, May 26, 2019

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

Sunday, May 26, 2019
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world. — Helen Keller

We chase after joy, like a child after a firefly, being certain that in joy all problems are solved, all questions are answered. Joy has its rewards, and we deserve them. But life has more to teach us.

We need to learn patience; through patience we come to respect time and its passage, and we are mellowed. We need to learn tolerance; through tolerance our appreciation of another’s individuality is nurtured. We need to learn self-respect; self-respect prepares us to contribute more freely to our experiences, and we find wholeness.

Life’s travails are our opportunities for lasting, enriching joy. The rough spots deepen our understandings. And these help us to bring joy to the lives of the friends near and dear.

I need not turn my back on joy. But I will be glad for all life’s experiences. The panorama will sustain me more fully.

Hazelden Foundation