Thursday, April 30, 2020

April 30, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Thursday, April 30, 2020
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
On the inner plane, the call to explore our edge involves risk, facing our fears, and a willingness to embrace uncertainty. The essence of an adventure—inner or outer—is encountering the unknown and unpredictable, which can be both scary and exciting. For many men, venturing into the vast terrain of their feelings can be such a long, illuminating voyage. For others, really listening to their heart for the first time, dropping the noisy expectations of others so they might hear their own truth, can be a rewarding odyssey. Learning to perceive more clearly the feedback our body is offering us in terms of stress and anxiety can also be a novel frontier filled with helpful insights.
Being in treatment has helped us begin these perilous but rewarding journeys within. We finally grasp that creating lasting changes in the outer circumstances of our lives begins within. We have, no doubt, come to realize how much unexplored territory there is within our own being. Perhaps we have even become inspired by the imperative “know thyself,” which holds enormous relevance for us in our daily lives.
I am in awe of how much there still is to discover about myself.
Hazelden Foundation

April 30, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, April 30, 2020

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., 2020

April 30, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, April 30, 2020

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, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Thursday, April 30, 2020

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, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, April 30, 2020

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, 2020 - Good morning and let's make it a big whoop Thursday of gratitude and confidence

Let's hit the floor this beautiful Thursday to make it stress- and fear-free with confidence that we're nearing the end of these challenging days we're going through together

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

April 29, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
Perfection, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
Is the desire to be perfect keeping us from being our best? Are mistakes okay? Trial and error is how healthy people learn. However, our expectation of perfection when we make a first attempt keeps us frustrated, or maybe we are too fearful of failure to even start. We waste so much living wanting to be perfect that we fear to try anything new.
Because we suffer from the need to be perfect, we judge other people harshly too. Perfection quickly becomes the bane of our existence. Fortunately, we can ask our Higher Power and the friends in our groups to help us accept ourselves as less than perfect human beings. We’ll be able to do this with greater ease when we learn to accept others as they are.
I will be good enough at every activity today if I simply do the best I can.
Hazelden Foundation

April 29, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, April 29, 2020

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 recovery 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., 2020

April 29, 2020 - Readings in Recovery; Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, April 29, 2020

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, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, April 29, 2020

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, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, April 29, 2020

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, 2020 - Good morning with determination to make this beautiful Wednesday as meaningful as it can be

Let's hit the floor with faith and confidence that this is going to be a magnificent Wednesday and assurance we're moving forward out of these tough times we're enduring

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

April 28, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
Reflection for the Day
In our first weeks or months in the program, our shaky emotional condition sometimes affects our feelings toward old friends and family. For many of us, these relationships heal quickly in the initial stages of our recovery. For others, a time of “touchiness” seems to persist; now that we’re no longer drinking or using other substances, we have to sort out our feelings about spouses, children, relatives, employers, fellow workers, and even neighbors. Experience in the program over the years has taught me that we should avoid making important decisions early in our recovery—especially emotionally charged decisions about people.
Am I becoming better equipped to relate maturely to other people?
Today I Pray
May my Higher Power help me through the edginess, the confusion of refeeling and rethinking my relationships, the getting-it-all-together stages of my recovery. May I not rush into new relationships or new situations that demand an investment of my emotions—not yet.
Today I Will Remember
No entangling alliances too soon.
Hazelden Foundation

April 28, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Today, no running from mistakes with a sense of failure or blaming anything and anyone else. 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 and 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., 2020

April 28, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, April 28, 2020

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, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, April 28, 2020

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, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, April 28, 2020

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, 2020 - Good morning to a rolickin' Tuesday with enthusiasm and gratitude that we're all doing OK

Time to rise 'n shine on a glorious Tuesday with gratitude and faith that we're all OK and emerging from these troubled times intact ...make it a truly wonderful and productive but safe day -- steering clear of everything and everyone intent on making it less

Monday, April 27, 2020

April 27, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, April 27, 2020
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
Making mistakes
As addicts we made a lot of mistakes; as addicts, we blanketed those mistakes in denial. In recovery, denial is no longer an option. Yet we still make plenty of mistakes.
But mistakes are okay, because we’re learning that every situation, good or bad, is an opportunity for growth. And with the right attitude, we can make the most of it.
Can I let go of my mistakes enough to learn from them?
Higher Power, help me to forgive my mistakes and to accept them as a useful way to learn.
Today I will practice what I learned from my most recent mistake by…
Hazelden Foundation

April 27, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, April 27, 2020

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., 2020

April 27, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, April 27, 2020

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, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, April 27, 2020

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, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, April 27, 2020

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, 2020 - Good morning to another marvelous Monday and new week with confidence and optimism

Good morning and let's kick it up a notch for another magnificent Monday and new week with reinvigorated faith and confidence that we're getting closer to getting through these challenging times -- together and stronger than before

Sunday, April 26, 2020

April 26, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Sunday, April 26, 2020
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. — Hugh Mulligan
We show self-respect in how we choose to spend our time. Do we give tasks the time required for our best efforts? Or do we feel unworthy of quality work? Do we have a right to stop working and just play? Are we worth spending time with—just ourselves, or do we feel meaningful time is only spent with others? Are we worth caring enough about to enjoy bathing, grooming, or getting haircuts? Do we care enough about ourselves to see a dentist or a physician when needed?
Choices about how we use our time are basic ethical and creative choices. Beyond self-respect and care, we need to put time into our day for nourishing and enriching our spirits. We do that by reading something thoughtful or meaningful, talking to a friend about the events and feelings of our lives, listening to music, fixing a pleasant meal, exercising, and giving unpaid time and energy to worthwhile causes.
I am grateful for the gift of another day, and I will live it creatively and respectfully.
Hazelden Foundation

April 26, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, April 26, 2020

Today, appreciation of the power of the spoken word, the one spoken in anger, fear, frustration and sarcasm and which can inflict more damage than any destructive act of my drinking days. Let me understand that a single word can do hurt and injury that might not be healed by any amend. And even if my amend or apology is accepted, the injury and hurt may cut so deeply in the person against whom the wrong word is spoken that something can still be forever lost. I pray for guidance in the 12th Step to practice the Program's principles in all my affairs, including not caving into anger and unleashing a word that is intended to hurt. Today, I think before I speak, especially if I am angry, frustrated or afraid, because I cannot unspeak it - and atonement may not be enough to repair the damage. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2020

April 26, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, April 26, 2020

AA Thought for the Day
The AA program is one of submission, release and action. When we're drinking, we're submitting to a power greater than ourselves - liquor. Our own wills are no use against the power of liquor. One drink and we're sunk. In AA, we stop submitting to the power of liquor. Instead, we submit to a Power, also greater than ourselves, which we call God.

Have I submitted myself to that Higher Power?

Meditation for the Day
Ceaseless activity is not God's plan for your life. Times of withdrawal for renewed strength are always necessary. Wait for the faintest tremor of fear and stop all work, everything, and rest before God until you are strong again. Deal in the same way with all tired feelings. Then you need rest of body and renewal of spirit-force. St. Paul said: "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." This does not mean that you are to do all things and then rely on God to find strength. It means that you are to do the things you believe God wants you to do and only then can you rely on His supply of power.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that God's spirit may be my master always. I pray that I may learn how to rest and listen, as well as how to work.

Hazelden Foundation

April 26, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, April 26, 2020

Reflection for the Day
When I first came to The Program, I was stunned by the constant sound of laughter. I realized today that cheerfulness and merriment make for usefulness. Outsiders are sometimes shocked when we burst into laughter over a seemingly tragic experience out of the past. But why shouldn't we laugh? We have recovered, and have helped others to recover. What greater cause could there be for rejoicing than this?

Have I begun to regain my sense of humor?

Today I Pray
May God restore my sense of humor. May I appreciate the honest laughter that is the background music of our mutual rejoicing in our sobriety. May I laugh a lot, not the defensive ego-laugh which mocks another's weakness, not the wry laugh of the self-putdown, but the healthy laugh that keeps situations in perspective. May I never regard this kind of laughter as irreverent. I have learned, instead, that it is irreverent to take myself too seriously.

Today I Will Remember
A sense of humor is a sign of health.

Hazelden Foundation

April 26, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, April 26, 2020

Many of us came into AA either in middle life or beyond and feel that with our reasonable life expectancy, it is practically impossible to atone for our previous wrong actions. The thief at the Crucifixion probably thought the same thing but, by one single act, he brought the promise that "this day, thou shalt be with me in Paradise."

Hazelden Foundation

April 26, 2020 - Rise 'n shine to a relaxing and serene Sunday with gratitude for being a day closer to the sunlight

Good morning to this wonderful new Sunday with gratitude for being a day closer to emerging together and intact from these painful days we're enduring ...make it a really terrific but productive and safe day -- and it shouldn't be a problem staying away from anything and anyone bearing only negativity

Saturday, April 25, 2020

April 25, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Saturday, April 25, 2020
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
I never think of the future. It comes soon enough. — Albert Einstein
None of us knows anything for sure about the future. We don’t know if we’ll be sober tomorrow. But we can be sure of this moment. We get sober by moments. Our sober moments then stretch into hours, days, and years. Our program tells us to live in the present moment. This is because we can control this moment. We can’t control the past or the future. We need to have a sense of control in our life. In our illness, we were out of control. This was because we wouldn’t live from moment to moment.
Each moment is filled with as much life as we can handle. Each moment is filled with enough to keep us alive, interested, and growing!
Prayer for the Day
Higher Power, help me find You in each moment.
Action for the Day
Today I’ll stop and focus on the present moment. I will work to see how much control I can have if I stay with the moment at hand.
Hazelden Foundation

April 25, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Saturday, April 25, 2020

Today, understand we cannot claim credit if someone we sponsor or to whom we have carried the message finds sobriety. Likewise, let us not feel that we have failed a sponsee or co-member who continue to drink. To claim credit for anyone else's sobriety or to blame ourselves for their continued drinking fire our ego and, because of it, we break the commandment to be only a carrier of the message. Just as we cannot credit anyone for our sobriety other than the Program or blame our drinking on someone or something other than ourselves, we cannot claim credit for another person's recovery or lack ot it. Today, let us remember that we are the messenger, not the message. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2020

April 25, 2020 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, April 25, 2020

AA Thought for the Day
I don't believe that AA works because I read it in a book or because I hear people say so. I believe it because I see people getting sober and staying sober. An actual demonstration is what convinces me. When I see the change in people, I can't help believing that AA works. We could listen to talk about AA all day and still not believe it, but when we see it work, we have to believe it. Seeing is believing.

Do I see AA work every day?

Meditation for the Day
Try saying: "God bless her (or him)" of anyone who is in disharmony with you. Also say it of those who are in trouble through their own fault. Say it, willing that showers of blessings may fall upon them. Let God do the blessing. Leave to God the necessary correcting or disciplining. You should only desire blessing for them. Leave God's work to God. Occupy yourself with the task that He gives you to do. God's blessing will also break down all your own difficulties and build up all your successes.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may use God's goodness so that it will be a blessing to others. I pray that I may accept God's blessing so that I will have harmony, beauty, joy and happiness.

Hazelden Foundation