Monday, February 26, 2024

Feb. 26, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

 

Step by Step

Monday, Feb. 26, 2024

Today, understand we cannot take Step Seven of asking a Higher Power to “remove our shortcomings”  without first surrendering completely to the Sixth Step of being “entirely ready.”  If we cling onto some character defect, we probably have not been honest in our Fourth Step of “a searching and fearless moral inventory …”  Some — if not all — of those character defects likely triggered our drinking, at first abusively and eventually addictively. Holding onto them even with an honest desire to let go of them may threaten the quality of our sobriety — maybe recovery itself. An “honest desire” to surrender our defects, then, is not sufficient. Because the Program is one of action, we must be active in releasing our defects and not taking them back. Our thoughts, feelings and actions of yesterday influence our tomorrows; thus, what we do today may well impact tomorrow, and a history of carrying those deadly character defects from yesterday into tomorrow is self-destruction. Today, if we are mired in defects that we know contributed to our drinking, let’s review our Fourth to see if it wasn’t as “searching and fearless”  as it should be. And our common journey continues. Step by step. — Chris M., 2024

Feb. 26, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Monday, Feb. 26, 2024

AA Thought for the Day

When we came into AA, we came to believe in a Power greater than ourselves. We came to believe in that Divine Principle in the universe which we call God, and to which we can turn for help. Each morning we have a quiet time. We ask God for the power to stay sober for the next 24 hours. And each night we thank Him for helping us to keep sober that day.

Do I believe that each man or woman I see in AA is a demonstration of the power of God to change a human being from a drunkard to a sober person?

Meditation for the Day

I should pray for faith as a thirsty person prays for water in a desert. Do I know what it means to feel sure that God will never fail me? Am I sure of this as I am sure that I still breathe? I should pray daily and most diligently that my faith may increase. There is nothing lacking in my life because, really, all I need is mine, only I lack the faith to know it. I am like a rich man’s child who sits in rags when all around me are stores of all I could desire.

Prayer for the Day

I pray for the realization that God has everything I need. I pray that I may know that His power is always available.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 26, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

 

A Day at a Time

Monday, Feb. 26, 2024

Reflection for the Day

“What if …”  How often we hear these words from newcomers to The Program. How often, in fact, we tend to say them ourselves. “What if I lose my job …,”  “What if my car breaks down …,”  “What if I get sick and can’t work …,”  “What if my child gets hooked on drugs?”  What if – anything our desperate imaginings can project. Only two small words, yet how heavy-laden they are with dread, fear and anxiety. The answer to, “What if …,”  is, plainly and simply, “Don’t project.”  We can only live with our problems as they arise, living one day at a time.

Am I keeping my thoughts positive?

Today I Pray

May I grow spiritually, without being held back by anxieties. May projected fears not hobble my pursuits or keep me from making the most of today. May I turn out fear by faith. If I will only make a place for God within me, He will remove my fears.

Today I Will Remember

I can only borrow trouble at high interest rates.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 26, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

 

The Eye Opener

Monday, Feb. 26, 2024

Frequently we are asked, “Why waste your money on that guy? He’s a phony if ever I saw one.”  We have all heard this and often it was true but, after all, the monetary loss each month was way below our old whiskey bills. Every once in a while, the long shot does come in and the payoff is tremendous.

It is simply a case of betting on people instead of horses. These bets on people can’t lose, for if the phony abuses your generosity, the fault is his, not yours, and he is debited and you are credited by the Great Bookkeeper who has charge of the Treasury where “neither moth nor rust doth corrupt and where thieves do not break through and steal.”

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 26, 2024 – Rise ‘n shine for this magnificent Monday and brand new week

 

Good morning and don’t be lazy cat and get out there and master another Monday and new week …and anything and anyone standing in the way of a productive and worthwhile day

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Feb. 25, 2024 - Readings in Recovery; Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

 

Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024

Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Obstacles

Everybody encounters obstacles in life. There are the structural or societal obstacles that are difficult to break through unless you have the right amount of privilege and power. There are also the health and genetic obstacles that we can’t control. But what about the obstacles that we can control?

Usually, it’s easier to recognize external obstacles or limiting forces outside of ourselves than to acknowledge the obstacles that are self-imposed or self-created. Insecurity and self-doubt are the biggest self-imposed obstacles that I’ve had to overcome.

We can look at obstacles as signposts and indicators. We can observe them and be clear about them, but I’ve figured out the importance of not bulldozing or pushing through our obstacles. Rather, we can find a resting place to reflect and then design the best way forward. Sometimes obstacles are not meant to be overcome. I know this because I have been my own greatest obstacle throughout my life.

What obstacles do you face today? We may not be able to control all of them, but we can choose how we cope with them.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 25, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

 

Step by Step

Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024

Today, admit that I abused, misused, took for granted and literally threw away through my drinking and actions all that I had been GIVEN unconditionally — love, respect, self-respect, integrity, friends, family, innocence — and traded it for selfishness, insecurity, fear, regret, pain, agony, anguish, loss and time that will never be recovered. Now, I am forced to admit I cannot expect to be given what I drank away — nor should I be enabled in regaining what I lost — without earning it. And I have the tools to begin the rebuilding process, courtesy of the 12 Steps. So simple! But the work to apply those tools forces me to ask my Higher Power, on bended knee, for the strength, courage, honesty, discipline, integrity and selflessness to earn back what I have lost and not demand nor expect them to be handed to me. And, if I do the job right, I may get back more than I lost. Today, I accept I must remake myself and, with the Program, I’ve got the tools to do it. All that remains is my choice to pick them up and put them to use. Today, I pick them up and begin the rebuilding process. And our common journey continues. Step by step. — Chris M., 2024

Feb. 25, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024

AA Thought for the Day

Some people find it hard to believe in a Power greater than themselves. But not to believe in such a Power forces us to atheism. It has been said that atheism is blind faith in the strange proposition that this universe originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes nowhere. That’s practically impossible to believe. I think we all can agree that alcohol is a power greater than ourselves. It certainly was in my case. I was helpless before the power of alcohol.

Do I remember the things that happened to me because of the power of alcohol?

Meditation for the Day

The spiritual and moral will eventually overcome the material and unmoral. That is the purpose and destiny of the human race. Gradually the spiritual is overcoming the material in our minds. Gradually the moral is overcoming the unmoral. Faith, fellowship and service are cures for most of the ills of the world. There is nothing in the field of personal relationships that they cannot do.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may do my share in making a better world. I pray that I may be part of the cure for the ills of the world.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 25, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

 

A Day at a Time

Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024

Reflection for the Day

Before we came to The Program, fear ruled our lives. Tyrannized by our addictions and obsessions, we feared everything and everybody. We feared ourselves and, perhaps most of all, feared fear itself. These days, when I am able to accept the help of my Higher Power, it makes me feel capable of doing anything I am called upon to do. I am overcoming my fears and acquiring a comfortable new confidence.

Can I believe that “courage is fear that has said its prayers …?”

Today I Pray

God grant that through faith in Him I may overcome my obsessive fears. I have been running scared for so long it has become a habit. God help me to see that I may be purposely clinging to my fears to avoid making decisions, perhaps even to shirk the responsibility of success.

Today I Will Remember

Fear keeps me safe from risk-taking.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 25, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

 

The Eye Opener

Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024

Few of us who are successfully working the AA Program have failed to notice the almost immediate influence our sobriety has brought about, not only in our homes and jobs but in the community as well.

Some of us who a short time ago stood before the judge and got the usual “$10 or 10 days” are now frequently closeted in the Judge’s Chambers at his invitation to assist him in his handling of the alcoholic problem.

We know what we were, we know what we are, now let us be what we can be.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 25, 2024 – Good morning and let’s all have a serene but productive Sunday

 

Good morning and take a cue from this cute little pussy kitty and simply have a nice and worthwhile Sunday without the garbage of people and things that aren’t worth our attention

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Feb. 24, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

 

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024

Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

The body is the soul’s house. Shouldn’t we therefore take care of our house so that it doesn’t fall into ruin?

— Philo Judaeus

Some men think it is a mark of a strong man to abuse his body and pay no heed to his health. Have we done this through drug use or abuse of food? Have we neglected our physical condition or health because of addictions or obsessions with other people?

To end abusive cycles, we need to act in self-respecting ways — sometimes before we feel self-respecting. Recovery and spiritual awakening involve the body, mind, and spirit. We need nutrition, exercise, sleep, and health care. Treating ourselves as worthwhile men helps us feel worthwhile. Tuning in to how we feel physically may give us some direction. As we sense how we feel, do we get some physical messages to guide our recovery?

I will yield to the messages I get from myself so I can enjoy the physical pleasures of recovery and give my soul a better home.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 24, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

 

Step by Step

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024

Today, apply the Program more widely and remember it is developed not solely to guide us to recovery but to detect and correct the character flaws that enabled our drinking. Being dry is all we can expect if the only action we take is to quit drinking. Abstinence by itself won’t earn us the recovery and serenity if we do not uncover, admit and either give up or correct the dysfunctional dynamics of our spiritual and emotional characters. Being dry is a major step forward from our drinking days, but dry without serenity puts us at significant risk of relapse if we turn a blind eye to the defective parts of our character. And because simply being dry puts us on the edge of a relapse waiting to happen, a recovery program helps us to deal with the defects in mental, spiritual and emotional characters. And our common journey continues. Step by step. — Chris M., 2024

Feb. 24, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024

AA Thought for the Day

When we came to our first AA meeting, we looked up at the wall at the end of the room and saw the sign: “But for the Grace of God.” We knew right then and there that we would have to call on the Grace of God in order to get sober and get over our soul-sickness. We heard speakers tell how they had come to depend on a Power greater than themselves. That made sense to us and we made up our minds to try it.

Am I depending on the Grace of God to help me stay sober?

Meditation for the Day

Share your love, your joy, your happiness, your time, your food, your money gladly with all. Give out all the love you can with a glad, free heart and hand. Do all you can for others and back will come countless stores of blessings. Sharing draws others to you. Take all who come as sent by God and give them a royal welcome. You may never see the results of your sharing. Today they may not need you, but tomorrow may bring results from the sharing you did today.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may make each visitor desire to return. I pray that I may never make anyone feel repulsed or unwanted.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 24, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

 

A Day at a Time

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024

Reflection for the Day

I can banish fear by realizing the truth. Am I afraid to be alone? This fear can be banished by the realization that I am never alone, that God is always with me wherever I am and whatever I do. Am I afraid that I won’t have enough money to meet my needs? This fear can be banished by the realization that God is my inexhaustible, unfailing resource, now and always. Today I have the power to change fear into faith.

Can I say with confidence, “I will trust, and will not be afraid …?”

Today I Pray

That I may fear no evil, for God is with me. That I may learn to turn to my Higher Power when I am afraid. I pray diligently that my faith in God and trust in what He has in store for me is strong enough to banish the fears that undermine my courage.

Today I Will Remember

Turn fear into faith.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 24, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

 

The Eye Opener

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024

We alcoholics know that one drink is too much and a barrel isn’t enough. That first drink starts the compulsion to drink.

Suppressing desires can become a habit just as their satisfaction does. Each time we Say NO,” we weaken the old habit and strengthen the new.

The efforts to satisfy our desires led us to the excesses that brought about our alcoholism. So let us follow the advise of John Stuart Mill and “learn to seek our happiness by limiting our desires, rather than attempting to satisfy them.”

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 24, 2024 – Good morning to a super Saturday

 

Good morning to a couple of bulldogs to wish you a pleasant but productive and worthwhile Saturday, and that you allow nothing and no one to mess it up

Friday, February 23, 2024

Feb. 23, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

 

Friday, Feb. 23, 2024

Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Life didn’t promise to be wonderful.

— Teddy Pendergrass

Life doesn’t promise us anything, except a chance. We have a chance to live any way we like. No matter how we choose to live, we’ll have pain and we’ll have joy. And we can learn from both.

Because of our recovery program, we can have life’s biggest wonder — love. We share it in a smile, a touch, a phone call, or a note. We share it with our friends, our partners, our family. Life didn’t promise to be wonderful, but it sure is full of little wonders! And we only have to open up and see them, feel them, and let them happen.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, help me see the wonders of life todayin nature, in people’s faces, in my own heart.

Action for the Day

I can help make wonderful things happen for others, with a smile, a greeting, a helping hand. What “little” things will I do for someone today?

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 23, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

 

Step by Step

Friday, Feb. 23, 2024

Today, if life sneaks in unexpected tasks or frustration that delay my plans, I will not cave to anger or a sense of failure at not carrying out my plans to completion. Even if my patience or expectations of myself or others are stretched to the max, I will not whine with self-pity or anything negative because, if I have gotten through the last 24 Hours sober, I have literally nothing to complain about and absolutely everything for which to be grateful and humble. I have no excuse to morph frustration or anger into self-imposed isolation because isolation is the breeding ground for loneliness — and loneliness can be lethal in recovery. But should I feel lonely, I will reach out to someone who can lend an empathetic — not sympathetic — ear or, in the spirit the 12th Step, jump into some form of service to someone in need and want. An old saying is that the non-addict who has a flat tire calls Triple A, but the recovering alcoholic with a flat calls Suicide Prevention. Today, I will use the Steps to keep events and things in their proper perspective and, if I find I have a flat tire, I’ll call roadside assistance. Suicide Prevention has other people in greater need. And our common journey continues. Step by step. — Chris M., 2024

Feb. 23, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Friday, Feb. 23, 2024

AA Thought for the Day
Besides our jobs, our families, our friends and our sobriety, we have something else which many of us found through AA. That’s faith in a Power greater than ourselves, to which we can turn for help: faith in that Divine Principle in the universe which we call God and which is on our side as long as we do the right thing. There have been many days in the past when, if we had taken an inventory, we’d have found ourselves very much in the red, without sobriety and, therefore, without jobs, families, friends or faith in God. We now have these things because we’re sober.

Do I make one resolution every day of my life – to stay sober?

Meditation for the Day
Love the busy life. It is a joy-filled life. Take your fill of joy in the Spring. Live outdoors whenever possible. Sun and air are nature’s great healing forces. That inward joy changes poisoned blood into a pure, healthy, life-giving flow. But never forget that the real healing of the spirit comes from within, from the close, loving contact of your spirit with God’s spirit. Keep in close communion with God’s spirit day by day.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may learn to live the abundant life. I pray that I may enjoy a close contact with God this day and be glad in it.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 23, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

 

A Day at a Time

Friday, Feb. 23, 2024

Reflection for the Day

The Twelve Steps teach us that as faith grows, so does security. The terrifying fear of nothingness begins to subside. As we work The Program, we find that the basic antidote for fear is a spiritual awakening. We lose the fear of making decisions, for we realize that if our choice proves wrong, we can learn from the experience. And should our decision be the right one, we can thank God for giving us the courage and the grace that caused us so to act.

Am I grateful for the courage and grace I receive from my Higher Power?

Today I Pray

I ask that I be given the power to act, knowing that I have at least a half-chance to make the right decision and that I can learn from a wrong one. For so long, decision-making seemed beyond my capabilities. Now, I can find joy in being able to make choices. Thank you, God, for courage.

Today I Will Remember

Freedom is choosing.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 23, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

 

The Eye Opener

Friday, Feb. 23, 2024

Criticism is often the sincerest form of flattery. We are all subject to it at times if we do anything at all. When criticism does arise, and before you build up a first-rate resentment, think first — who is it that criticizes? What is the motive behind it? Is it constructive or just plain antagonistic? Is it prompted by jealousy or ignorance? Would you do the same thing again if you had it to do over? What does your conscience say about it?

No great man escaped having enemies; all the old masters had critics; all political and social reforms had their adversaries and the early disciples of all new religions were persecuted, stoned and crucified.

If you are criticized, you may possibly be right. But, if you are ignored, you know you are wrong.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 23, 2024 – Good morning with gratitude that it’s finally Friday

 

Good morning and here’s a dancing chicken gettin’ down to help get this fabulous Friday off to an uplifting start, and don’t empower anyone and anything that don’t warrant our efforts to screw it up

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Feb. 22, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

 

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024

Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.

— Anne Frank

In the face of being hunted for extermination, Anne Frank could write this from her hiding place in an attic. Was she naive? No. She deeply believed in the goodness of creation and the goodness of all creatures, including those who persecuted and murdered her people.

Somehow, young as she was, Anne Frank knew a truth we sometimes lose: that it is not what people do that makes them good or evil. It is who they are. And for Anne Frank, all people are made in the image of God — and therefore, deep down at their core, must be good. She was able to see through the brutality and hatred to that true creation of God.

We are left in awe at such faith and love. But we can draw from it too, and when our brother or sister or parent or child does something to hurt us, we can remember Anne Frank‘s ability to see what is good. We can look beneath the hurtful actions and forgive.

Can I forgive someone who has hurt me today?

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 22, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

 

Step by Step

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024

Todayindecision is NO decision and no decision is stagnation — in growth, progress, sobriety, moving forward, moving on. If some issue has immobilized me with uncertainty or fear of the outcome, the uncertainty of no resolution will likely progress to a breaking point. And, for me, the breaking point could be our sobriety. Today, enough is enough. I will decide, and I will call on the Program and Higher Power on how best to resolve the thing that has hung over my head far too long. And in coming to a decision, God grant me the outcome may be what I need and not necessarily what I wantToday, no decision will yield to decision, and what has kept me stagnant loses its control. And our common journey continues. Step by step. — Chris M., 2024

Feb. 22, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024

AA Thought for the Day

Now we can take an inventory of the good things that have come to us through AA. To begin with, we’re sober today. That’s the greatest asset on any alcoholic’s books. Sobriety to us is like good will 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 AA, 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

Feb. 22, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

 

A Day at a Time

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024

Reflection for the Day

When I came to The Program, I found people who knew exactly what I meant when I spoke finally of my fears. They had been where I had been; they understood. I’ve since learned that many of my fears have to do with projection. It’s normal, for example, to have a tiny “back-burner” fear that the person I love will leave me. But when the fear takes precedence over my present and very real relationship with the person I’m afraid of losing, then I’m in trouble. My responsibility to myself includes this: I must not fear things which do not exist.

Am I changing from a fearful person into a fearless person?

Today I Pray

I ask God’s help in waving away my fears — those figments, fantasies, monstrous thoughts, projections of disaster which have no bearing on the present. May I narrow the focus of my imagination and concentrate on the here-and-now, for I tend to see the future through a magnifying glass.

Today I Will Remember

Projected fears, like shadows, are larger than life.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 22, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

 

The Eye Opener

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024

You cannot know and appreciate wisdom unless you are also acquainted with a liberal amount of pure folly. Folly provides the lessons that really stick in our memories and provide danger signals to govern our decisions in our future conduct.

For that reason, the lessons learned overnight in a jail cell outlast those acquired after long periods of study. Believe you me, those lessons are seldom forgotten.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 22, 2024 – Good morning and let’s give this grand Thursday our best effort

 

Good morning, folks, and let’s do this beautiful Thursday proud and do something productive and worthwhile with it

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Feb. 21, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

 

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024

Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

AA Thought for the Day

I’m grateful that I found a program in AA that could keep me sober. I’m grateful that AA has shown me the way to faith in a Higher Power, because the renewing of that faith has changed my way of life. And I’ve found a happiness and contentment that I had forgotten existed, by simply believing in God and trying to live the kind of a life that I know He wants me to live. As long as I stay grateful, I’ll stay sober.

Am I in a grateful frame of mind?

Meditation for the Day

God can work through you better when you are not hurrying. Go very slowly, very quietly, from one duty to the next, taking time to rest and pray between. Do not be too busy. Take everything in order. Venture often into the rest of God and you will find peace. All work that results from resting with God is good work. Claim the power to work miracles in human lives. Know that you can do many things through your Higher Power. Know that you can do good things through God who rests you and gives you strength. Partake regularly of rest and prayer.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may not be in too much of a hurry. I pray that I may take time out often to rest with God.

Hazelden Foundation