Friday, December 15, 2017

Dec. 15, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Friday, Dec. 15, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Say when it's time to do that difficult thing

Sometimes, true windows of opportunity open in our lives. We get a chance to make that amend. The perfect time to end or resolve that relationship arises. It's like a gift from God when that window opens up. All we need to do is gently step through. But sometimes, we need to help God open the window - especially when we're working up the courage to do a difficult thing.

Maybe we're waiting for just the right moment to end a relationship. Maybe we're looking for an opportunity to make amends, tell someone we're sorry about something we've done that's caused that person pain. Maybe we have a new project we'd like to begin. Sometimes, we can passively wait, and wait, and that window just seems painted shut and stuck.

Ask God to help open the window, but do your part, too. Make a decision that you're going to do it - whatever it is. Then let go, but not too long. Remember your decision. Remember your commitment to opening that window. Don't force it, but focus your attention. You may begin to feel the slightest crack in the energy, that opening you need. Or you may have to wiggle the window frame, push on it just the slightest bit, to crack it open yourself. Then you'll see it. You'll feel it move. There. It's open.

Help God open that window in your life by deciding to do it.

God, help me remember that the time doesn't always feel right. Help me honor my deepest urges to do what I must to take care of myself.
You are reading from the book:

More Language of Letting Go © 2000 by Melody Beattie

Dec. 15, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 

Today, I guard against associating the quantity of my sobriety with its quality. If my recovery consists only of not drinking and I have not tended to my emotional and spiritual diseases, I am little more than a dry drunk. Further, I need to understand and appreciate the truth that ours is a day-to-day reprieve and that weeks, months and even years without drinking is no guarantee that I won't slip or relapse today. Even if my own sobriety dates several 24 Hours, let me understand that I am no more sober than the person whose last drink was 24 Hours ago and, likewise, that person is no less sober than I. But, if my own sobriety is several 24 Hours, let me also accept and respect the responsibility to the program. I may be asked to carry the message to someone who needs and seeks it. To that extent, I owe the program the integrity of my sobriety and pass it on to whoever seeks it. Today, I am sober 24 Hours. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Dec. 15, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, Dec. 15, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Service to others makes the world a good place. Civilization would cease if all of us were always and only for ourselves. We alcoholics have a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the well-being of the world. We have a common problem. We find a common answer. We are uniquely equipped to help others with the same problem. What a wonderful world it would be if everybody took his own greatest problem and found the answer to it and spent the rest of his life helping others with the same problem in his spare time. Soon we would have the right kind of a world.

Do I appreciate my unique opportunity to be of service?

Meditation for the Day
Today can be lived in the consciousness of God's contact, upholding you in all good thoughts, words and deeds. If sometimes there seems to be a shadow on your life and you feel out of sorts, remember that this is not the withdrawal of God's presence but only your own temporary unwillingness to realize it. The quiet gray days are the days for doing what you must do, but know that the consciousness of God's nearness will return and be with you again, when the gray days are past.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may face the dull days with courage. I pray that I may have faith that the bright days will return.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 15, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Friday, Dec. 15, 2017

Reflection for the Day
Some people are such worriers that they worry about the fact that they have nothing to worry about. Newcomers in The Program sometimes feel, for example, "This is much too good to last." Most of us, however, have plenty of real things to worry about - old standbys like money, health, death and taxes, to name just a few. But The Program tells us that the proven antidote to worry and fear is confidence - confidence not in ourselves but in our Higher Power.

Will I continue to believe that God can and will avert the calamity that I spend my days and nights dreading? Will I believe that if calamity does strike, God will enable me to see it through?

Today I Pray
May I realize that the worry habit - worry that grows out of broader, often unlabeled fears - will take more than time to conquer. Like many dependent people, I have lived with worry so long that it has become my constant, floor-pacing companion. May my Higher Power teach me that making a chum out of worry is a waste of my energy and fritters away my constructive hours.

Today I Will Remember
Kick the worry habit.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 15, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Friday, Dec. 15, 2017

Faith is a fundamental requisite of success in retaining our sobriety - faith in God, faith in the Program, and faith in ourselves.

It can be likened to swimming: every normal person can swim, if he has faith in the laws of buoyancy and allows himself to be submerged enough. Those people who cannot swim are those who are afraid of the water and try to raise themselves above it.

Faith in the laws of Nature and in yourself enables you to swim, and a like faith in God, the Program and yourself will enable you to achieve our way of living.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 15, 2017 - Rise 'n shine for a fantastic Friday with new faith, hope, strength and gratitude


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dec. 14, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

You are the hero of your life

Each of us plays the starring role in the drama that is our life. We co-create the script, along with our Higher Power. Sometimes we forget our lines, and so we improvise as best we can. We are heroes, each of us, as we move through the events of the day, refining our character and using our gifts to shape the action of every scene.

We can each be a hero in the drama of recovery. To the casual observer, what we do and say may not appear to be at all heroic. But we - as insiders who are only too well acquainted with our individual limitations - can appreciate and applaud a difficult decision or action.

When we accept our role in life, when we pledge to use our energies to do the best we can, and when we rely on our Higher Power for guidance and support, we will be well on our way toward recovering.

I can be a hero today, even if it doesn't show.
You are reading from the book:

This book is now out of print and no longer available to purchase. Inner Harvest by Elisabeth L. © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 14, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017
Today, and hopefully every subsequent 24 Hours, I will include discipline in my recovery. Let me reach back into my yesterdays to learn from my mistakes as a drinking alcoholic and temper potential flareups of those mistakes with the discipline not to act or react as I did then. While I cannot undo the damage or hurt of my mistakes then, I can prevent them from happening again by applying the discipline of changing myself. With discipline, I may reach the point where it is second-nature and something I don't have to consciously exert. This, in effect, is one of the spiritual awakenings or experiences promised in the 12 Steps. With discipline, grant me patience, logic over emotion, selflessness and kindness in place of intentional harm. Today, I begin to work consciously not to redo what I did wrong yesterday. Today, I expect progress from myself and not from the outside. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Dec. 14, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
The way of AA is the way of service. Without that, it would not work. We have been "on the wagon" and hated it. We have taken the pledge and waited for the time to be up with impatience. We have tried in all manner of ways to help ourselves. But not until we begin to help other people do we get full relief. It is an axiom that the AA program has to be given away in order to be kept. A river flows into the Dead Sea and stops. A river flows into a clear pool and flows out again. We get and then we give. If we do not give, we do not keep.

Have I given up all ideas of holding AA for myself alone?

Meditation for the Day
Try to see the life of the spirit as a calm place, shut away from the turmoil of the world. Think of your spiritual home as a place full of peace, serenity and contentment. Go to this quiet, meditative place for the strength to carry you through today's duties and problems. Keep coming back here for refreshment when you are weary of the hubbub of the outside world. From this quietness and communion comes our strength.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may keep this resting place where I can commune with God. I pray that I may find refreshment in meditation on the Eternal.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 14, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017

Reflection for the Day
Some of us in The Program are inclined to make the mistake of thinking that the few moments we spend in prayer and meditation - in "talking with God" - are all that count. The truth is that the attitude we maintain throughout the entire day is just as important. If we place ourselves in God's hands in the morning, and throughout the day hold ourselves ready to accept His will as it is made known through the events of our daily life, our attitude of acceptance becomes a constant prayer.

Can I try to cultivate an attitude of total acceptance each day?

Today I Pray
May I maintain contact with my Higher Power all through my day, not just check in for a prayer now and then. May my communion with God never become merely a casual aside. May I come to know that every time I do something that is in accord with God's will I am living a prayer.

Today I Will Remember
Prayer is an attitude.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 14, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017

Our greatest enemy was alcohol and we have learned to how protect ourselves against it. But we are in constant danger from some of our well-meaning friends. They constantly tell us how wonderful we are in that we have cut out our drinking and, unfortunately, we sometimes believe them to the point where our heads begin to swell.

At that very moment, that very necessary ingredient of sobriety - HUMILITY - goes out the window and sobriety frequently accompanies it.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 14, 2017 - Good morning to Thursday with renewed faith, hope, courage and gratitude


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dec. 13, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

How will you dream if you don't sleep?
How will you hear yourself?

 -- Michael Dorris


Sleep is a wonderful gift in our lives. For eight hours, we rest our bodies. We let the thoughts, feelings, and events of our lives tumble through our sleeping minds as they sort themselves through our dreams.

But dreams are not always happy. Some of us are afraid to sleep. Our dreams scare us. We may dream about using again or about bad things that happened. But we shouldn't let our dreams fool us. They are not reality. They are just feelings, thoughts, and memories working themselves out. In early recovery, there are a lot of things to sort out.

We create the reality of our lives by the choices we make when we are awake: how much we trust in our Higher Power, how we care of ourselves, how we treat others, how we work our program.


Prayer for the Day
Higher Power, help me listen to the messages of my dreams. Help me understand that my dreams will get better as my life gets better.

Today's Action
I will listen to my dreams. What is my mind working out in my sleep? If I remember my dreams, I will talk about them with my friends.
You are reading from the book:

God Grant Me. . . © 2005 by Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 13, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017 
"In our belief, any scheme of combating alcoholism which proposes to shield the sick man from temptation is doomed to failure. If the alcoholic tries to shield himself, he may succeed for a time, but he usually winds up with a bigger explosion than ever. We have tried these methods. These attempts to do the impossible have always failed." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 7 ("Working With Others"), p 101. 

Todayrecognize that we cannot shield ourselves from places or people that could trigger temptation. Doing that is living in the problem of alcoholism and not in the solution of sobriety. I may well be required to attend gatherings where alcohol is available, or I may be in a relationship where my spouse or companion continues to drink. Shielding myself from any source of alcohol will undoubtedly limit my ability to carry out the command of the 12th Step - to work with others who are still drinking. While I certainly don't want to risk temptation by returning to my past watering holes for a cup of coffee, I cannot reasonably expect myself never to be in a situation where alcohol is served. In those instances, then, I have AA to get through any temptation. It is up to me to invoke and put the steps to work. I am an alcoholic, but I am a recovering one. I have the choice to live with the problem of fighting temptation or with the solution of recovery. Today, I pick the latter. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Dec. 13, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
We come now to AA fellowship. It is partly group therapy. It is partly spiritual fellowship. But it is even more. It is based on a common illness, a common failure, a common problem. It goes deep down into our personal lives and our personal needs. It requires a full opening up to each other of our innermost thoughts and most secret problems. All barriers between us are swept aside. They have to be. Then we try to help each other get well. The AA fellowship is based on a sincere desire to help the other person. In AA we can be sure of sympathy, understanding and real help. These things make the AA fellowship the best that we know.

Do I fully appreciate the depth of the AA fellowship?

Meditation for the Day
The Higher Power can guide us to the right decisions if we pray about them. We can believe that many details of our lives are planned by God and planned with a wealth of forgiving love for the mistakes we have made. We can pray today to be shown in the right way. We can choose the good, and when we choose it, we can feel that the whole power of the universe is behind us. We can achieve a real harmony with God's purpose for our lives.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may choose aright today. I pray that I may be shown the right way to live today.

Hazelden Foundation