Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Feb. 21, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018

Today: "Keep It Sweet and Simple!" 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 intoxications; 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 days 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 and with the 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 recovery and sobriety; 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 keep clear of self-pity, anger, confusion, and anguish; if I want to claim honestly that I am sober today; today, I won't drink. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

Feb. 21, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018

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, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018

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, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018

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, 2018 - Let's make it a far-out and awesome Wednesday, folks


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Feb. 20, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

To err is human; to blame it on the other guy is even more human.
 — Bob Goddard

We are on a path that leads us to become better people with greater insight and stronger character. A central theme on this path is learning to take responsibility for ourselves, our mistakes, and our choices as we deal with our situations. We can make progress on this path by noticing our defensive reactions when we make a mistake or when someone criticizes us. Our old ways were aimed at shifting the blame or counterattacking to get someone else off our case. Now we are learning how to take on the blame when it honestly belongs to us.

One of the first things we need to learn in taking responsibility is that there is no shame in making a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes. But some people don’t accept responsibility for them, and others do. We have much greater respect for someone who does. Admitting when we were wrong doesn’t mean speaking in vague generalities, saying that “mistakes were made.” It doesn’t mean saying, “Yes, I did this, but only because you did that.” It means saying what we did or didn’t do and laying the facts out there for us and others to deal with. When we can do that, forgiveness almost always follows shortly.

Today I will hold back my defensiveness and admit the facts as they are.

You are reading from the book:

Wisdom to Know © 2005 by Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 20, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018

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. My prayers and hopes will be for THAT person because HIS needs might, just might, be more important than mine. And in trying to put myself aside in favor of someone else this day, pray that I might experience a fundamental change, a change toward compassion, empathy and selflessness. But in achieving that, 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., 2018

Feb. 20, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018

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, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018

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, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018

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, 2018 - Good morning to an awesome Tuesday and sparkling new day


Monday, February 19, 2018

Feb. 19, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, Feb. 19, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

I was talking to a friend about something I didn’t want to do but believed I needed to do anyway. I was dreading it and feeling irritable. Often when we talk like that, other people scowl and say, “Oh, don’t let shoulds control your life. If you don’t want to do it, don’t.”

But this man understood. “At the risk of sounding old-fashioned,” he said, “duty calls.”

What’s there to say about duty? It’s a job, for different reasons, that needs to be done – whether we really want to or feel like it.

I learned about duty when my children, Nichole and Shane, were born. A lot of things needed to be done to take good care of them, whether I felt like doing all of those things or not.

I learned throughout the years that even the most exciting jobs have uninteresting and sometimes distasteful duties. When I worked for a daily newspaper, I loved my job. I enjoyed covering front-page news. But many of the stories I was assigned to were duty stories.

Sometimes a relative needs help. A parent may get sick, grow old, or become vulnerable or infirm. While we don’t want to become duty-bound and strap our entire lives with shoulds, there are times in any relationship – family, romantic, or friend – when a code of honor rules and we do what we must.

“I believe we have deeper duties too,” a friend said. “If we’ve been given sobriety, spiritual growth, or gifts, I believe that it’s our duty to pass those gifts along and share them when we’re asked.”

Go ahead. Say arrrgh. Dread what you’re about to do. I know, there are more interesting and exciting things calling your name. But for a moment, can you put those things aside?


You are reading from the book:
52 Weeks of Conscious Contact © 2003 by Melody Beattie

Feb. 19, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, Feb. 19, 2018

Today, begin the process of reconciling emotional, spiritual and mental defects - even if I am not either willing or able yet to hand them off to my Higher Power. Reconciliation, needed so I see that I must let go of what holds me back, requires that I understand that 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 sobriety. 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., 2018

Feb. 19, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Feb. 19, 2018

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, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, Feb. 19, 2018

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