Monday, July 24, 2017

July 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, July 24, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.
 -- Flora Whittemore
We often hear the phrase, "When one door shuts, another opens." It means everything has a beginning and an end. When our travels on one path are completed, another path lies ahead.
It's not easy to feel a door close. Relationships, friendships, careers, and lives end. Although we may not understand why a door closes, it's important to remember our Higher Power has everything to do with it. By the same token, we may not understand why certain doors open, revealing opportunities we may have longed for. Again, our Higher Power feels we are ready to pursue that new experience.
The doors that open and close today help prepare us for our experiences tonight. The doors that open and close tonight will help us grow toward tomorrow. We are not mice in a maze, randomly pursuing paths for a reward of cheese. We are children of our Higher Power, guided towards our chosen goal through the many doors we open and close along the way.
Have I learned there is a reason for everything in my life? Can I trust that my path has been prepared for me by my Higher Power?
You are reading from the book:
Night Light by Amy E. Dean. © 1986, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation

July 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, July 24, 2017
 
Today, gratitude as attitude. Gratitude for even the smallest of gains as opposed to complaining that the gains aren't big enough, and my attitude is a reflection of the quality of my sobriety. Even in the most demanding of days when most things seem to go wrong and few of them right, I must pause before reacting in a way I will likely regret later and remember my attitude in my drinking days. Then, my attitude was based on feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, fear, anger, regret, revenge, apathy and self-centeredness. They are the character defects as confessed in my Fourth Step, and confession alone does not mean those defects are gone. They remain; my Program is to improve on them day by day until they exist no more. Today, my attitude is not to rekindle the sins of my character but to disempower them with humility, empathy, answering a call to service and remembering, always, that my attitude defines me as either sober or as a dry drunk. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

July 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, July 24, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
AA is like a dike, holding back the ocean of liquor. If we take one glass of liquor, it is like making a small hole in the dike and, once such a hole has been made, the whole ocean of alcohol may rush in upon us. By practicing the AA principles, we keep the dike strong and in repair. We spot any weakness or crack in that dike and make the necessary repairs before any damage is done. Outside the dike is the whole ocean of alcohol, waiting to engulf us again in despair.

Am I keeping the dike strong?

Meditation for the Day
Keep as close as you can to the Higher Power. Try to think, act and live as though you were always in God's presence. Keeping close to a Power greater than yourself is the solution to most of the earth's problems. Try to practice the presence of God in the things you think and do. That is the secret of personal power. It is the thing which influences the lives of others for good. Abide in the Lord and rejoice in His love. Keep close to the Divine Spirit in the universe. Keep God close behind your thoughts.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may keep close to the Mind of God. I pray that I may live with Him in my heart and mind.

Hazelden Foundation

July 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, July 24, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
How, exactly, can a person turn his own will and his own life over to the care of a Power greater than himself? All that's needed is a beginning, no matter how small. The minute we put the key of willingness in the lock, the latch springs open. Then the door itself starts to open, perhaps ever so slightly; in time, we find that we can always open it wider. Self-will may slam the door shut again, and it often does. But the door can always be re-opened, time and time again if necessary, so long as we use our key of willingness.

Have I reaffirmed my decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand Him?

Today I Pray
May I reaffirm my decision to turn my will and my life over to a Higher Power. May my faith be staunch enough to keep me knowing that there is, indeed, a power greater than I am. May I avail myself of that Power simply by being willing to "walk humbly with my Lord."

Today I Will Remember
Self-will minus self equals will.
 
Hazelden Foundation

July 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, July 24, 2017
 
Last year I attended the Southeastern Convention at Miami Beach, and I had a grand time. Yet I do not recall, offhand, the name of a single speaker I heard, but I do remember the name of the man whom I called upon as a Twelfth-Stepper.

I fretted somewhat, at the time, that this man caused me to miss several meetings of the Convention, yet today it is my highlight of the affair. This man is happy on the AA Program, and I am happy that I was forced to forego some of the pleasure I traveled all the way to Miami to enjoy.

Hazelden Foundation

July 24, 2017 - Good morning to a Monday of new hope, faith and renewal


Sunday, July 23, 2017

July 23, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Sunday, July 23, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Ousting the Green Demon

Victory over Jealousy. We hear of successful people who drop their old friends after moving up the ladder. Maybe, however, it wasn't their choice. Maybe they were driven to do so because their friends' jealousy made the friendship unworkable. We have little trouble accepting a stranger's good fortune; it's a different feeling, however, when friends and co-workers move ahead of us.

If the green demon of jealousy strikes during the day, we can come to terms with it in several ways. First, accept no guilt that it happens, because jealousy is part of the human condition. Next, depersonalize it by remembering that good fortune comes to all people in various ways. Then check your own gratitude level to make sure that it hasn't been sinking. This serves as a reminder that there's no shortage of the things that really make for happiness and personal well being in life.

We can easily tell when we've been able to oust the green demon. We'll be able to be relaxed and gracious while extending congratulations for another person's good fortune. And months down the road, we'll be genuinely sympathetic - not vindictive - If the other person's luck turns sour.

While I don't expect to feel jealousy today, I accept the fact that it can happen. Should it appear, I'll work calmly to deal with it.
You are reading from the book:
Walk in Dry Places by Mel B. © 1996 by Hazelden Foundation

July 23, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, July 23, 2017
 
"I took everything that AA had to give me. Easy does it, first things first, one day at a time. It was at that point that I reached surrender. I heard one very ill woman say that she didn't believe in the surrender part of the AA program. ...Surrender to me has meant the ability to run my home, to face my responsibilities as they should be faced, to take life as it comes to me day by day, and work my problems out. That's what surrender has meant to me. I surrendered once to the bottle, and I couldn't do these things." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part II ("They Stopped in Time"), Ch. 4 ("The Housewife Who Drank at Home"), p 340.

Today, surrender and its various interpretations that can be integrated into my own recovery. While surrender arguably may be interpreted most often as entrusting our very lives to a Higher Power, surrendering is regaining the ability to take back and carry out our responsibilities and meet problems head-on and work them out. This requires sobriety and being clean. Today, I long for those promises of recovery and, today, I become responsible enough to work for them. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

July 23, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, July 23, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
We should remember that all AA's have "clay feet." We should not set any member upon a pedestal and mark her or him out as a perfect AA. It's not fair to the person to be singled out in this fashion and, if the person is wise, she or he will not wish it. If the person we single out as an ideal AA has a fall, we are in danger of falling, too. Without exception, we are all only one drink away from a drunk, no matter how long we have been in AA. Nobody is entirely safe. AA itself should be our ideal, not any particular member of it.

Am I putting my trust in AA principles and not in any one member of the group?

Meditation for the Day
The inward peace that comes from trust in God truly passes all understanding. That peace no one can take from you. No person has the power to disturb that inner peace. But you must be careful not to let in the world's worries and distractions. You must try not to give entrance to fears and despondency. You must refuse to open the door to the distractions that disturb your inward peace. Make it a point to allow nothing today to disturb your inner peace, your heart-calm.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not allow those about me to spoil my peace of mind. I pray that I may keep a deep inner calm throughout the day.

Hazelden Foundation

July 23, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, July 23, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
Today I'll try to settle for less than I wish were possible, and be willing to not only accept it but to appreciate it. Today, I'll not expect too much of anyone - especially myself. I'll try to remember that contentment comes from gratefully accepting the good that comes to us, and not from being furious at life because it's not "better."

Do I realize the difference between resignation and realistic acceptance?

Today I Pray
May I not set my sights unrealistically high, expect too much. May I look backwards long enough to see that my self-set, impossible goals were the trappings of my addiction; too often, I ended up halfway there, confronted by my own failure. Those "foiled-again," "I've-failed-again" feelings became monumental excuses to give in to my compulsion, which blanketed my miseries. May I avoid that sick old pattern. May I be realistic.

Today I Will Remember
Good is good enough.

Hazelden Foundation

July 23, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, July 23, 2017
 
We alcoholics feared loneliness as much as anything else on earth. Even the companionship of the bull pen was preferable to being alone. The quality of our company made no difference, for it was preferable to our own thoughts; certainly, it was not as critical. We just couldn't stand our own company.

In AA, we were told to establish conscious contact with the Man Upstairs and we marveled at the ease with which this was accomplished after a little effort on our part. Now we are never less alone than when we are alone.

Hazelden Foundation

July 23, 2017 - Good morning to a serene Sunday of new hope, faith and renewal


Saturday, July 22, 2017

July 22, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Saturday, July 22, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.
 -- C. S. Lewis


We often try to turn our will and our life over to the care of God, as we understand God, but we're not always successful. We are human. We change our mind. We talk ourselves out of our good resolutions. We forget. We fall back into old, destructive habits of mind and mood.

But all we have to do is make a decision. We don't have to do the actual turning over. We are, in fact, incapable of sustaining this action. But we can, very simply, make the decision. Surprisingly, when we do, turning over our will often gets taken care of for us. We find that we are indeed enjoying what seems to be God's will for us. The secret lies in making the decision as often as needed. We can decide daily or even hourly. We can, in fact, rely on God every time we need help.

This day and every day, I will decide to rely on God all over again.
You are reading from the book:
In God's Care by Karen Casey. © 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

July 22, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Saturday, July 22, 2017
 
"The words of Dr. Bob and Bill are with me all the time. Dr. Bob said, 'Love and service keep us dry,'  and Bill said, 'Always we must remember that our first duty is face-to-face help for the alcoholic who still suffers.'  Dr. Bob tells about keeping it simple and not to louse it up. ...(T)here are some of us who, at times, try to read extra messages and complexities into the Steps. ...AA is within the reach of every alcoholic, because it can be achieved in any walk of life and because the achievement is not ours but God's. ...(T)here is no situation too difficult, none too desperate, no unhappiness too great to be overcome in this great fellowship ..." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part II ("They Stopped in Time"), Ch 11 ("A Flower of the South"), p 395.

Today, remembering when life without drinking was unthinkable much less a dream beyond dreaming, can any problem in a sober life be any worse or beyond resolution or reconciliation? While AA is a lifeline, we had to muster more strength and courage than we thought we had to grab and hold on by admitting we are powerless, coming to believe and going to any lengths. Nor does the program come without responsibility as suggested in Step 12 - to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers, and to keep the program simple without inserting "extra messages and complexities." Today, if I think something in my life is hopeless, I need only remember so it was as a drinking alcoholic, to realize that nothing now is beyond hope. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

July 22, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, July 22, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
One of the finest things about AA is the diversity of its membership. We come from all walks and stations of life. All types and classes of people are represented in an AA group. Being different from each other in certain ways, we can each make a different contribution to the whole. Some of us are weak in one respect, but strong in another. AA can use the strong points of all its members and can disregard their weaknesses. AA is strong, not only because we all have the same problem but also because of the diversified talents of its members. Each can contribute his part.

Do I recognize good points of all my group's members?

Meditation for the Day
"And greater works than these shall ye do." Each individual has the ability to do good works through the power of God's spirit. This is the wonder of the world, the miracle of the earth, that God's power goes out to bless the human race through the agency of so many people who are actuated by His grace. We need not be held back by doubt, despondency and fear. A wonderful future can lie before any person who depends on God's power, a future of unlimited power to do good works.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not limit myself by doubting. I pray that I may have confidence that I can be effective for good.

Hazelden Foundation