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

Feb. 21, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

 

Step by Step

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024

Today: KISS: Keep It Simple and Sweet!” In the end, the complexities and sometimes grueling work of the Twelve Steps come down to a cardinal action. If I do not want to deal with the shakes through the day and the oblivion of intoxication; if I do not want to deal with guilt, remorse, shame and self-degradation; if I do not want the numbing pain of letting down myself and anyone who has stood with me through the worst of my drinking and the best of my recovery; if I do not want to devote any part of the day and night with my head in a toilet throwing up dry heaves; if I don’t want to take bed sheets to the laundromat for an unplanned wash because they got soaked by my own vomit; if I don’t want to risk getting nailed for drunk driving and the subsequent court-ordered fines and fees, alcohol classes and triple car insurance rates; if I want to continue to progress in sobriety and recovery; if I want to nurture the re-established relationships that were previously broken and responsibilities that went neglected because of drinking; if I want to be free of self-pity, anger, confusion, and anguish; if I want to claim honestly that I am sober; today, I won’t drink. KISS: “Keep It Simple and Sweet.” And our common journey continues. Step by step. — Chris M., 2024

Feb. 21, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024

AA Thought for the Day

I go to the AA meetings because it helps me in my business of keeping sober. And I try to help other alcoholics when I can, because that’s part of my business of keeping sober. I also have a partner in this business and that’s God. I pray to Him every day to help me to keep sober. As long as I keep in mind that liquor can never be my friend again, but is now my deadly enemy, and as long as I remember that my main business is keeping sober and that it’s the most important thing in my life, I believe I’ll be prepared for that crucial moment when the idea of having a drink pops into my mind.

When that idea comes, will I be able to resist it and not take that drink?

Meditation for the Day

I will be more afraid of spirit-unrest, of soul-disturbance, of any ruffling of the mind, than of earthquake or fire. When I feel the calm upset, then I must steal away along with God, until my heart sings and all is strong and calm again. Uncalm times are the only times when evil can find an entrance. I will beware of unguarded spots of unrest. I will try to keep calm, no matter what turmoil surrounds me.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that no emotional upsets will hinder God’s power in my life. I pray that I may keep a calm spirit and a steady heart.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 21, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

 

A Day at a Time

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024

Reflection for the Day
Do I waste my time and energy wrestling with situations that aren’t actually worth a second thought? Like Don Quixote, the bemused hero of Spanish literature, do I imagine windmills as menacing giants, battling them until I am ready to drop from exhaustion? Today, I’ll not allow my imagination to build small troubles into big ones. I’ll try to see each situation clearly, giving it only the value and attention it deserves.

Have I come to believe, as the second of the Twelve Steps suggests, that a Power greater than myself can restore me to sanity?

Today I Pray
God, keep my perspective sane. Help me to avoid aggrandizing petty problems, tying too much significance to casual conversations, making a Veruvius out of an anthill. Keep my fears from swelling out of scale, like shadows on a wall. Restore my values, which became distorted during the days of my chemical involvement.

Today I Will Remember
Sanity is perspective.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 21, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

 

The Eye Opener

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024

The effectiveness of AA is largely built upon understanding and human sympathy. These characteristics were not acquired from a book but learned the hard way as we, too, traveled the long dark alley of despair in search of a helping hand and an understanding heart.

Creeds and ideologies are for preachers and students to debate and reason, but our doctrine of love and understanding has nothing to do with reason; frequently it is contrary to reason, as it comes from the heart and not the head.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 21, 2024 – Good morning and let’s have a really fantastic Wednesday

 

Good morning with hopes of a fantastic and productive Wednesday for everyone …and a day without the crap of people and things that don’t deserve our time

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Feb. 20, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

 

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024

Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

It’s often safer to be in chains than to be free.

 Franz Kafka

Some days we wish we could have stayed in a nice, safe detox unit or treatment center forever. Our choices and decisions were easier, and the temptations were farther away. Freedom is a challenge for us. We can do anything we want with it. But we had better choose a path and do what we really want to do, or our freedom will be our downfall.

Why? Because living with our freedom is like riding a bicycle. As long as we are willing to pedal our bike, we can go many places. If we stop pedaling, sooner or later we will fall over. We can do many things with our lives as long as we are willing to do the work. We can coast a bit to rest, but too much coasting means we fall over or go downhill.

Our recovery program teaches us to pedal — to do the work we need to do to stay free – and to use our freedom in the best possible ways.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, thank you for the freedom to choose what I make of my life. Please guide me as I pedal and help me find my pace and my path.

Today’s Action

Today I will think about the times in my life when I enjoyed the ride. What choices was I making about how to use my freedom? What happened? I will talk about it with a friend and ask how it was for him or her.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 20, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

 

Step by Step

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024

Today, in these 24 Hours put aside MY wants and hear the cry of someone whose need is greater, whose anguish cuts deeper and whose fears are more haunting than mine. This is the marching order of Step 12: to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers and wants the message. And to be an effective 12th-Stepper, I must put aside my wants and needs for someone whose need may be greater. In putting myself aside in favor of someone else this day, I might experience a fundamental change, a spiritual awakening, a move toward compassion, empathy and selflessness. Not absolutely altruistic, however. My motive hasn’t really been altogether selfless — I may have progressed to my first or another spiritual awakening by attaining humility in the knowledge that my own fears, insecurities and problems probably are not as heavy as someone else’s. Today, someone whose burdens are heavier than mine will have my prayers. And our common journey continues. Step by step. — Chris M., 2024

Feb. 20, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024

AA Thought for the Day
Liquor used to be my friend. I used to have a lot of fun drinking. Practically all the fun I had was connected with drinking. But the time came when liquor became my enemy. I don’t know just when liquor turned against me and became my enemy, but I know it happened because I began to get into trouble. And since I realize that liquor is now my enemy, my main business now is keeping sober. Making a living or keeping house is no longer my main business. It’s secondary to the business of keeping sober.

Do I realize that my main business is keeping sober?

Meditation for the Day
I can depend on God to supply me with all the power I need to face any situation, provided that I will sincerely believe in that power and honestly ask for it, at the same time making all my life conform to what I believe God wants me to be. I can come to God as a business manager would come to the owner of the business, knowing that to lay the matter before Him means immediate cooperation, providing the matter has merit.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may believe that God is ready and willing to supply me with all that I need. I pray that I may ask only for faith and strength to meet any situation.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 20, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

 

A Day at a Time

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024

Reflection for the Day

We are often told in The Program that “more will be revealed.” As we are restored to health and become increasingly able to live comfortably in the real world without using chemicals, we begin to see many things in a new light. Many of us have come to realize, for example, that our arch-enemy — anger — comes disguised in many shapes and colors: intolerance, contempt, snobbishness, rigidity, tension, sarcasm, distrust, anxiety, envy, hatred, cynicism, discontent, self-pity, malice, suspicion, jealousy.

Do I let my feelings get the best of me?

Today I Pray

May I recognize that my anger, like a dancer at a masquerade, wears many forms and many faces. May I strip off its several masks and know it for what it is.

Today I Will Remember

Anger wears a thousand masks.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 20, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

 

The Eye Opener

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024

So many times we hear people say, “Don’t preach to me about God. He has no time for the likes of me.” It is hard for us alcoholics to conceive of a God, whom we have gone out of our way to alienate, who has time for the likes of us — yet we know that He does have time for us and has demonstrated this fact in hundreds of cases, just as though He had nothing else in the world to do.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 20, 2024 – Good morning and let’s work for a fantastic Tuesday

 

Good morning and here’s a psyched raccoon (I think) with a bunch of positive things to say to help get this fantastic Tuesday off to a great start …make it a productive and worthwhile day, folks

Monday, February 19, 2024

Feb. 19, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

 

Monday, Feb. 19, 2024

Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

My thoughts guide my day. Noticing how I awake can help me save the day.

— Kelley Vickstrom

We may envy friends who seem happy and peaceful. Why aren’t they troubled as we so often are? The fact is, we can take actions to become more content too. One of the simplest is to ask our Higher Power for a positive attitude before we even throw back the bed covers.

Being in charge of what we dwell on is easier than we might imagine. We can practice the art of focusing our minds on the positive. Begin by stopping a thought, any thought, in midsentence. Think, instead, of how lucky we are to be in recovery. Focus on a blessing that is obvious today. Any time an unhealthy thought surfaces, drop it, replacing it with a blessing. This can become a way of life if we make the choice.

We have felt enough pain and experienced enough harm. Today can be much better. And it will be, if we carefully select our thoughts.

I am as happy as I truly want to be todayNo one can steal peacefulness from me if that’s what I really want.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 19, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

 

Step by Step

Monday, Feb. 19, 2024

Todaybegin the process of reconciling emotional, spiritual and mental defects — even if I am not willing to hand them over to my Higher Power. Reconciliation, needed so I see that I must let go of what holds me back, requires that I understand recovery is more than not drinking and is a fundamental change in my entire character. And abstinence alone cannot achieve that change. It requires a brutally honest Fourth to find my defects and a 10th to understand why and how they impede what I could be in recovery. In reconciling myself to my defects of character, I may finally be able to say they have no purpose in where I hope to go in recovery, that they harbor a hidden spark to ignite a slip or relapse and, more important, that I want to be done with them once and for all. If the defects I found in the Fourth remain in my 10th and I know it is time to let them go, today, I seek the courage to change what I can — myself. And our common journey continues. Step by step. — Chris M., 2024

Feb. 19, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Monday, Feb. 19, 2024

AA Thought for the Day
Many things we do in AA are in preparation for that crucial moment when, walking down the street on a nice sunshiny day, we see a nice cool cocktail lounge and the idea of having a drink pops into our minds. If we’ve trained our minds so that we’re well prepared for that crucial moment, we won’t take that first drink. In other words, if we’ve done our AA homework well, we won’t slip when temptation comes.

In preparation for that crucial moment when I’ll be tempted, will I keep in mind the fact that liquor is my enemy?

Meditation for the Day
How many of the world’s prayers have gone unanswered because those who prayed did not endure to the end? They thought it was too late, that they must act for themselves, that God was not going to guide them. “He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.” Can I endure to the very end? If so, I shall be saved. I will try to endure with courage. If I endure, God will unlock those secret spiritual treasures which are hidden from those who do not endure to the end.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may follow God’s guidance, so that spiritual success shall be mine. I pray that I may never doubt the power of God and so take things into my own hands.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 19, 2024 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

 

A Day at a Time

Monday, Feb. 19, 2024

Reflection for the Day
When a person says something rash or ugly, we sometimes say they are “forgetting themselves,” meaning they’re forgetting their best selves in a sudden outburst of uncontrolled fury. If I remember the kind of person I want to be, hopefully I won’t “forget myself” and yield to a fit of temper. I’ll believe that the positive always defeats the negative: courage overcomes fear; patience overcomes anger and irritability; love overcomes hatred.

Am I always striving for improvement?

Today I Pray
Today I ask that God, to Whom all things are possible, help me turn negatives into positives — anger into super-energy, fear into a chance to be courageous, hatred into love. May I take time out to remember examples of such positive-from-negative transformations from the whole of my lifetime. Uppermost is God’s miracle: my freedom from the slavery of addiction.

Today I Will Remember
Turn negatives into positives.

Hazelden Foundation