Monday, August 21, 2017

Aug. 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, Aug. 21, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Love, and love alone, is capable of giving thee a happier life.
 -- Ludwig van Beethoven


We are making a response to life's every waking moment; our attitudes formulate the tenor of our responses. When the sun warms our bodies and the flowers tease our nostrils, it may be easy to love everyone and smile. When we have a negative attitude, we may snarl and all too quickly criticize innocent bystanders, as well as friends and family. All we need is to make a simple decision to look with love as far as our eyes can see.

When our hearts are God-centered and filled with love and laughter, we'll find no experience too difficult to handle. No problem will evade its solution for long.

An attitude of love promises us gratitude in abundance. We'll never doubt that all is well when love is at our center.
You are reading from the book:
Worthy of Love by Karen Casey. © 1985 by Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, Aug. 21, 2017

"AA is not a plan for recovery that can be finished and done with. It is a way of life, and the challenge contained in its principles is great enough to keep any human being striving for as long as he lives. We do not, cannot, out-grow this plan. As arrested alcoholics, we must have a program for living that allows for limitless expansion." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "Alcoholics Anonymous Number Three," Ch 12 ("The Keys of the Kingdom"), p 311.

Today, I will not and cannot expect that being an "arrested alcoholic" will assure continued recovery and sobriety. We hear often but never too much that our program is not applied solely to sobering up but to daily living to maintain and enhance the quality of sobriety. If a day comes when I tinker with the dangerous folly that I have gone as far as I can with the program or have outgrown it, I am probably teetering on the edge of a slip or, more likely, a relapse. Today, AA becomes not only a program of recovery, but a daily way of life. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Aug. 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Aug. 21, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
"Who are you to say there is no God? This challenge comes to all of us. Are we capable of denying that there is a design and purpose in all of life as we know it? Or are we willing to admit that faith in some kind of Divine Principle is a part of our make-up, just as much as the feeling we have for a friend? We find a great Reality deep down within us, if we face ourselves as we really are. In the last analysis, it is only there that God may be found. When we find this Reality within us, we are restored to our right minds."

Have I found the great Reality?

Meditation for the Day
"Behold, I make all things new." When you change to a new way of life, you leave many things behind you. It is only the earth-bound spirit that cannot soar. Loosen somewhat the strands that tie you to the earth. It is only the earthly desires that bind you. Your new freedom will depend on your ability to rise above earthly things. Clipped wings can grow again. Broken wings can regain a strength and beauty unknown before. If you will, you can be released and free.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be freed from things that hold me down. I pray that my spirit may soar in freedom.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, Aug. 21, 2017

Reflection for the Day
After we take an inventory, determining and admitting the exact nature of our wrongs, we become "entirely ready," as the Sixth Step suggests, "to have God remove all these defects of character." Sure, it's easy to feel like that and be "entirely ready" on a morning-after, but we know in such desperate moments that our motive may be remorse rather than repentance, induced more by a throbbing head than a contrite heart. The further we get away from the last addictive binge, the better the wrong-doing looks - more innocent, possibly even more attractive.

Am I ready THEN to "have God remove all these defects of character ...?"

Today I Pray
May I be "entirely ready" for God to remove my defects of character. May those words "entirely ready" re-summon my determination in case it should fade with time and sobriety. May God be my strength, since I alone cannot erase my faults.

Today I Will Remember
I am "entirely ready."

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, Aug. 21, 2017

There is no man alive who is a bigger fool than he who knows everything - even God can't teach such a one. This characteristic is common among alcoholics, and constitutes one of the greatest barriers to recovery. Our Program is best received by the humble heart and the attentive ear.

We must do a lot of "un-learning" before we are ready to start learning this new way of living.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 21, 2017 - Good morning to a marvelous Monday and great new week


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Aug. 20, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.
 -- Thomas Carlyle


"Five years down the road," says Jack, "I want to have a new job, an intimate relationship, and a bigger house. I want to be earning more money and feel better about myself." What nice dreams! But what is Jack doing for himself now?

"My relationship is not going well," sighs Sarah. "This isn't the first time I've been told I have the same character defects. Someday I really want to make changes and be in a warm, supportive relationship. Then I'll be happy." But how can Sarah expect to have a wonderful relationship if she doesn't begin her work now?

"My family is so messed up," declares Leslie, a parent. "No one communicates. If we had a bigger house we wouldn't argue so much or be so disorganized. When Bill and I start making good money, we can look for that dream house." But when will Bill and Leslie work on the family problems they're having now?

I can begin to see what lies clearly at hand - not a dream or goal years away from now. All I have is right now. Tonight I can build my future foundations by working on me.
You are reading from the book:
Night Light by Amy E. Dean. © 1986, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 20, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017

"We watch the alcoholic performing in a position of responsibility and we know that because he is drinking heavily and daily he has cut his capacities by 50 percent, and still he seems able to do a satisfactory job. And we wonder how much further this man could go if his alcoholic problem could be removed and he could throw 100 percent of his abilities into action. But, of course ...eventually the alcoholic loses all of his capacities as his disease gets progressively worse, and this is a tragedy that is painful to watch; the disintegration of a sound mind and body." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Alcoholics Anonymous Number Three, Ch 12 ("The Keys of the Kingdom"), p 308.

Today, can I remember or even acknowledge the gradual and steady disintegration of myself as a drinking alcoholic? If I cannot, I must remember to appreciate and even treasure that AA has moved me forward and beyond that abyss of irrevocable physical, emotional and spiritual hopelessness and self-destruction. And in comparing then to now, I can rely on my higher power to strengthen me should temptation arise. Today, despite or in spite of any problems I face, I must be grateful that I am not making them worse by drinking or using. I prefer whatever challenges I face sober instead of those I had drunk. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Aug. 20, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
"When many hundreds of people are able to say that the consciousness of the presence of God is today the most important fact of their lives, they present a powerful reason why one should have faith. When we see others solve their problems by simple reliance upon some spirit of the universe, we have to stop doubting the power of God. Our ideas did not work, but the God-idea does. Deep down in every man, woman, and child is the fundamental idea of God. Faith in a Power greater than ourselves and miraculous demonstrations of that power in our lives are facts as old as the human race."
Am I willing to rely on the Spirit of the universe?

Meditation for the Day
You should not dwell too much on the mistakes, faults, and failures of the past. Be done with shame and remorse and contempt for yourself. With God's help, develop a new self-respect. Unless you respect yourself, others will not respect you. You ran a race, you stumbled and fell, you have risen again, and now you press on toward the goal of a better life. Do not stay to examine the spot where you fell, only feel sorry for the delay, the short-sightedness that prevented you from seeing the real goal sooner.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not look back. I pray that I may keep picking myself up and making a fresh start each day.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 20, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017

Reflection for the Day
All of The Program's Twelve Steps ask us to go contrary to our natural inclinations and desires: they puncture, squeeze, and finally deflate our egos. When it comes to ego-deflation, few Steps are harder to take than the Fifth, which suggests that we "admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." Few Steps are harder to take, yes, but scarcely any Step is more necessary to long-term freedom from addiction and peace of mind.

Have I quit living by myself with the tormenting ghosts of yesterday?

Today I Pray
May God give me strength to face that great ego-pincher - Step Five. May I not hesitate to call a trusted hearer of Fifth Steps, set up a meeting and share it. By accepting responsibility for my behavior, and then sharing my account of it with God and one other, I am actually unburdening myself.

Today I Will Remember
My Fifth Step pain is also my liberation.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 20, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017

Some time ago, I felt it necessary to make a record of the various sums of money owed me for my occasional handouts for a flop, or to get clothes out of hock, or to replace the false teeth lost or broken on the last binge. The total amount began to grow to staggering proportions and I became very unhappy - so unhappy, in fact, I tore the record up and now I am happy again.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 20, 2017 - Good morning to a serene Sunday of renewed faith, hope, courage and strength


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Aug. 19, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

All We Have Is Now

We can only live now, this moment. We cannot erase the mistakes we made yesterday or bring back the good times we had. We cannot know what tomorrow will require of us, nor can we ensure future security and happiness. Now is what we have, and now is everything.

We can follow our plan now. We can abstain this moment. We can deal with the problems, which confront us today, as best we can, trusting God to guide us. We can be in touch with our Higher Power only in the present.

As we focus on the present moment, we live it deeper, and we derive a satisfaction that we did not know when we were regretting the past and worrying about the future. Whatever happens, now is all I can manage and all I need.

I am grateful for this present moment.
You are reading from the book:
Food for Thought by Elisabeth L. © 1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 19, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017

"There are many things worse than dying, but is there any death worse than the progressive, self-induced slow suicide of the practicing alcoholic? The alcoholic suffers death many times over. Alcohol wrings the guts out of life, eats into the brain in such a way as to make the alcoholic blind to the truth. I served 12 years in prison, never suspecting that without alcohol I would not have been in prison at all. Had it not been for AA in prison ...I'll never know, but my educated guess is that I would not be alive today." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "They Lost Nearly All," Ch 1 ("A Five-Time Loser Wins"), p 457.

Today, like a prison inmate, we all experienced the multiple deaths of a drinking alcoholic in the form of losses of family, friends, jobs and milestone experiences like a child's birth or wedding, people and experiences that cannot be reclaimed. And, like an inmate, we may not even yet realize that we may never have suffered those losses because of alcohol. But, today, we are sober and in recovery, and the program has taught us to think now in terms of life because, in surrendering in Step One, we choose life over death. Now we must surrender the regrets and pain from those losses and anticipate the new life to come. And whatever life has planned for us, we can do it now because we are sober - because we chose life. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Aug. 19, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
"People of faith have a logical idea of what life is all about. There is a wide variation in the way each one of us approaches and conceives of the Power greater than ourself (sic). Whether we agree with a particular approach or conception seems to make little difference. These are questions for each of us to settle for ourselves. But in each case the belief in a Higher Power has accomplished the miraculous, the humanly impossible. There has come a revolutionary change in their way of living and thinking."

Has there been a revolutionary change in me?

Meditation for the Day
Worship is consciousness of God's divine majesty. As you pause to worship, God will help you to raise your humanity to His divinity. The earth is a material temple to enclose God's divinity. God brings to those who worship Him a divine power, a divine love and a divine healing. You only have to open your mind to Him and try to absorb some of His divine spirit. Pausing quietly in the spirit of worship, turn your inward thoughts upward and realize that His divine power may be yours, that you can experience His love and healing.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may worship God by sensing the eternal Spirit. I pray that I may experience a new power in my life.

Hazelden Foundation