Sunday, June 24, 2018

June 24, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Sunday, June 24, 2018
Today’s thoughts from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation are:

Expectations

Higher Power, help me stop expecting so much from myself.

I set unrealistic standards, and when they are not met, unhappiness follows.

Help me be true to myself and only expect what I am capable of doing. As I grow in recovery and do my assignments every day, I am able to do more.

Your will provides realistic goals. Your will provides what I need to succeed.

You are reading from the book:

The 12 Step Prayer Book Volume 2 by Bill P. and Lisa D. © 2007 by Hazelden Foundation

June 24, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, June 24, 2018

"Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." - Step 5

"This (Step) is perhaps difficult - especially discussing our defects with another person. We think we have done well enough in admitting these things to ourselves. There is doubt about that. In actual practice, we usually find a solitary self-appraisal insufficient. ...We will be more reconciled to discussing ourselves with another person when we see good reasons why we should do so. The best reason first: If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking. ...Trying to avoid this humbling experience, (members) have turned to easier methods. Almost invariably they got drunk." Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, Ch 6 ("Into Action"), pp 72-3.

Today, understanding that the purpose of Step Five is to unburden myself of the emotional baggage of guilt, fear, resentment and anger that will likely impair my recovery if I do not let go of that weight. I cannot expect to reap the program's full benefits if I cannot be unconditionally honest with myself and others by keeping bottled inside those events or feelings that might have contributed to my drinking - and hurt to others. Along with humility, Step Five requires courage. Failing to muster both honesty and courage to release what now hurts me will predictably impede my recovery. And, in letting go by confiding in another person, I may find fresh perspectives, useful direction and an unbiased opinion that what I think is so bad may not be as bad as I think. Today, I look for the honesty and courage to take Step Five and, hopefully, find reconciliation. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

June 24, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, June 24, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
Alcohol is our weakness. We suffer from mental conflicts from which we look for escape by drowning our problems in drink. We try through drink to push away from the realities of life. But alcohol does not feed, alcohol does not build, it only borrows from the future and it ultimately destroys. We try to drown our feelings in order to escape life's realities, little realizing or caring that in continued drinking we are only multiplying our problems.

Have I got control over my unstable emotions?

Meditation for the Day
When I let personal piques and resentments interfere with what I know to be my proper conduct, I am on the wrong track and I am undoing all I have built up by doing the right thing. I must never let personal piques interfere with living the way I know God wants me to live. When I have no clear guidance from God, I must go forward quietly along the path of duty. The attitude of quiet faith will receive its reward as surely as acting upon God's direct guidance. I must not weaken my spiritual power by letting personal piques upset me.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not let myself become too upset. I pray that I may go quietly along the path I have chosen.

Hazelden Foundation

June 24, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, June 24, 2018

Reflection for the Day
The primary purpose of The Program is freedom from addiction; without that freedom, we have nothing. But that doesn't mean I can say, for example, "Sobriety is my only concern. Except for my drinking, I'm really a super person, so give me sobriety, and I've got it made." If I delude myself with such specious nonsense, I'll make so little progress with my real life problems and responsibilities that I'll likely return to my addiction. That's why The Program's Twelfth Step urges us to "practice these principles in all our affairs."

Am I living just to be free of chemical dependence, or also to learn, to serve and to love?

Today I Pray
May I relish and be grateful for my sobriety, which is where all good things begin. But let me not stop at that and give up trying to understand myself, the nature of God and of humanity. Freedom from dependency is the first freedom. May I be certain that there are more to come - freedom from tight-mindedness, from the unrest of bottled-up feelings, from over-dependence on others, from a Godless existence. May The Program which answered my acute needs also answer my chronic ones.

Today I Will Remember
Sobriety is just a beginning.

Hazelden Foundation

June 24, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, June 24, 2018

The poor old drunk has ever had to face the wrath of the law and an indignant world. Lectures, threats, jail sentences, booby hatches and asylums have proven to be but waste of words, efforts and public funds. Nothing - absolutely nothing - worked.

AA tried a revolutionary ministration of sympathy and understanding. It recognized his condition as an illness, threefold in its nature, and that the only medication that would prove effective must treat his physical, mental and spiritual disorder at one and the same time.

Hazelden Foundation

June 24, 2018 - Rise 'n shine for a serene and relaxing Sunday with hope and confidence


Saturday, June 23, 2018

June 23, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Saturday, June 23, 2018
Today’s thought 
from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Let every man be occupied in the highest employment of which he is capable and die conscious that he has done his best.
 — Sidney Smith

Doing something that we feel good about never loses its importance to our lives. And it need not be a prestigious occupation for our work to be important. In fact, who are we to decide what kind of job is truly important? The most menial of tasks may have a profound impact on a particular man or woman today, and that’s what really counts in God’s grand scheme.

It is said by some that the highest order of employment is the offering of love and acceptance to the people on our paths today. For us to define employment solely in terms of career is shortsighted. Every minute we’re awake we’re busy with something, and that means we’re employed.

A broader definition of employment gives every one of us a chance to put in a productive day. Knowing that our presence, our words, our willingness to listen to someone else has made life better for them makes it better for us, too.

I will go to bed fulfilled if I have shown love and respect for others today.

You are reading from the book:

Keepers of the Wisdom © 1996 by Karen Casey

June 23, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Saturday, June 23, 2018

" ...(W)e deal with alcohol - cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power - that One is God. May you find Him now.
'Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 5 ("How It Works"), pp 58-9.

Today ..."with complete abandon." If I stand "at the turning point," I am there because the ideas, methods, ploys and "half measures" I used to control or stop my drinking didn't work. And because I haven't come up with a better idea, what is there to lose by surrendering "with complete abandon," surrendering to the First Step, that "(I am) powerless" and to a power greater and stronger than alcohol - and stronger than myself? Moving in the program "with complete abandon" is no "easier, softer way," certainly. But holding onto what I have tried and has failed is guaranteed to make my way progressively harder, maybe eventually fatal. Today, I surrender "with complete abandon." And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

June 23, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, June 23, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
No chain is stronger than its weakest link. Likewise, if you fail in the day-by-day program, in all probability it will be at your weakest point. Great faith and constant contact with God's power can help you discover, guard and under-gird your weakest point with a strength not your own. Intelligent faith in God's power can be counted on to help you master your emotions, help you to think kindly of others and help you with any task that you undertake, no matter how difficult.

Am I master of my emotions?

Meditation for the Day
You need to be constantly recharged by the power of the spirit of God. Commune with God in quiet times until the life from God, the Divine life, by that very contact, flows into your being and revives your fainting spirit. When weary, take time out and rest. Rest and gain power and strength from God, and then you will be ready to meet whatever opportunities come your way. Rest until every care and worry and fear have gone and then the tide of peace and serenity, love and joy, will flow into your consciousness.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may rest and become recharged. I pray that I may pause and wait for the renewing of my strength.

Hazelden Foundation

June 23, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Saturday, June 23, 2018

Reflection for the Day
Complacency is my enemy, easy to recognize in others but difficult to identify and accept in myself. Complacency simply means being sure we're right - taking it for granted that we couldn't possibly be wrong. It means, moreover, judging others by what we think is right. It blocks out understanding and kindness, and seems to justify qualities in ourselves that we'd find wholly intolerable in others.

Do I tend to assume that my views are always correct?

Today I Pray
God, please steer me past complacency, that state of being on dead center. When I am smug, I am no longer a seeker. If I assume I am always right, I am never on guard for my own mistakes, which can run away with me. Keep me teachable. Keep me growing, in heart, mind and spirit.

Today I Will Remember
Complacency stunts growth.

Hazelden Foundation

June 23, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Saturday, June 23, 2018

It takes courage, intelligence, initiative and deep emotions to make a really successful fool. The timid, under-imaginative, cowardly seldom do.

We as alcoholics made fools of ourselves, it is true, but, in so doing, we experienced more, we lived more, we suffered more. These are the ingredients of a liberal education.

If wisdom could be dissected, there would be a large portion of Folly, Defeat, Suffering and just plain Damned Foolishness in its makeup.

By the same token, our foolishness taught us valuable lessons that could not have been acquired anywhere else.

Hazelden Foundation

June 23, 2018 - Good morning to a super Saturday and serene weekend with confidence


Friday, June 22, 2018

June 22, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Friday, June 22, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

You are the artist in your life

You create the images and colors on the canvas called your life. Are you creating the picture you want? Does your canvas convey a life of fulfillment and growth? Or does your canvas convey chaos and despair?

You are the artist; God is your co-creator. Together all things are possible. But when we mistakenly believe that other people control our destiny, we end up feeling bitter and hopeless. In truth, we’re in partnership with a Higher Power, or whatever you choose to call it. I call that power God. We make the initial decisions; God carries out our plans. God could not render our lives what they are without our assistance. We are the artists, and ultimately we call the shots.

I invite you to consider a different perspective. This may not be easy to swallow if you are a struggling single parent, someone who has just lost a job, or someone facing other tough circumstances. You’re invited to first see whether you played a part in where you are. And the best news you can give yourself is to say yes, because if you played even a small part, there is something you can do to change that canvas of your life. But if you played no part whatsoever, then you may be waiting forever for someone to change the course of your life. And that could be a very long wait.

You’re invited to be your artist. And you have at your fingertips all the necessary tools to turn your canvas into a masterpiece.

You are reading from the book:

52 Weeks of Esteemable Acts © 2005 by Francine Ward

June 22, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Friday, June 22, 2018

"Headstrong and willful, I rushed from pleasure to pleasure, and found the returns diminishing to the vanishing point. Hangovers began to assume monstrous proportions and the morning drink became an urgent necessity. 'Blanks' were more frequent, and I seldom knew how I'd got home. When my friends suggested that I was drinking too much - they were no longer my friends. ...With a creeping insidiousness, drink had become more important than anything else. It no longer gave me pleasure - it merely dulled the pain - but I had to have it. I was bitterly unhappy." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 4 ("Women Suffer Too"), p 226.

Today, ask truthfully if the "benefits" of drinking have been obliterated by the consequences - hangovers, drinking out of necessity with no choice, blackouts, loss of friends who suggested we had a problem, drinking to self-medicate. If in the end I concede that I depend on alcohol for pleasure or as a solution to some state of mind like anguish or loneliness, I cannot deny that I am addicted if only emotionally or psychologically. That, by definition, makes me an alcoholic. Today, then, I seek the courage and strength not to reject friends or acquaintances who are worried, and I pledge to seek solutions other than alcohol to my psychological pain and unhappiness. And, today, the solution is no farther away than a local AA group. Today, I make the call. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

June 22, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, June 22, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
If you have any doubt, just ask any of the older members of the AA group, and they will readily tell you that since they turned their lives over to the care of God as they understand Him, many of their problems have vanished into the forgotten yesterdays. When you allow yourself to be upset over one thing, you succeed only in opening the door for the coming of hundreds of other upsetting things.

Am I allowing myself to be upset over little things?

Meditation for the Day
I would do well not to think of the Red Sea of difficulties that lies ahead. I am sure that when I come to that Red Sea, the waters will part and I will be given all the power I need to face and overcome many difficulties and meet what is in store for me with courage. I believe that I will pass through that Red Sea to the promised land, the land of the spirit where many souls meet in perfect comradeship. I believe that when that time comes, I will be freed of all the dross of material things and find peace.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may face the future with courage. I pray that I may be given strength to face both life and death fearlessly.

Hazelden Foundation