Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Study finds that drinking is more contagious than thought | Addiction Under 30

ACLU sues to halt Florida's ban on recognition of out-of-state gay marriages

Facebook status outs gay Eagle Scout, ending leadership opportunities

Poll: Majority of Colorado voters support marriage equality

April 30, 2014 - Today's Gift from Hazelden

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Be careful with amends
Hurting someone thoughtlessly just to lift our own guilt is not a proper Step Nine. Amends are for rebuilding the burned bridges in our lives. But if amends will hurt someone, we must decide if it's in that person's best interest to be told now. Oftentimes it's best left unsaid, but never denied to ourselves or to God.

Changing our behavior intentionally is one part of making amends, particularly to family members who may have heard us say "I'm sorry" far too many times. Repaying money, repairing damages, and making charitable contributions on behalf of the person we have harmed are all honest attempts to right our wrong. The point in every amends attempt is to take responsibility for what we did and express our regrets. Couple this with changed behavior, and our relationships will improve immediately.

I will not shy away from any amends I need to make today, but I'll be careful not to hurt someone with information he or she doesn't need to know.
From the book:
A Life of My Own by Karen Casey. © 1993 by Hazelden Foundation

April 30, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
 
Today, I'll use a novel tactic: instead of an alcoholic, I'll be a soberholic. If "alcoholic" calls attention to the fact that I am addicted to alcohol, can't "soberholic" state my addiction to sobriety? Arguably, despite the progress of AA in striking down the image of the alcoholic as the down-and-out'er sleeping in alleys or drying out in a flophouse, a jail's drunk tank or mental hospital, a stigma remains. Might I be able to erode that stigma by labeling my addiction sobriety instead of alcohol? If so, maybe the implication that my addiction is sobriety can renew my self-confidence and weaken any temptation or lingering doubt about drinking again. As someone addicted to sobriety, why do I need alcohol? Today, at the risk of angering those who warn against trading one addiction for another, I'll substitute dependence on alcohol to dependence on sobriety. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

April 30, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 
 
AA Thought for the Day 
The AA program is one of faith because we find that we must have faith in a Power greater than ourselves if we are going to get sober. We're helpless before alcohol, but when we turn our drink problem over to God and have faith that He can give us all the strength we need, then we have the drink problem licked. Faith in that Divine Principle in the universe which we call God is the essential part of the AA program. 
 
Is faith still strong in me? 
 
Meditation for the Day
Each one of us is a child of God, and as such, we are full of the promise of spiritual growth. A young person is like the springtime of the year. The full time of the fruit is not yet, but there is promise of the blossom. There is a spark of the Divine in every one of us. Each has some of God's spirit which can be developed by spiritual exercise. Know that your life is full of glad promise. Such blessings can be yours, such joys, such wonders, as long as you develop in the sunshine of God's love.
  
Prayer for the Day 
I pray that I may develop the divine spark within me. I pray that by so doing I may fulfill the promise of a more abundant life.
  
Hazelden Foundation

April 30, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
 
Reflection for the Day
We're taught in The Program that "faith without works is dead." How true this is for the addicted person. For if an addicted person fails to perfect or enlarge his or her spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, s/he can't survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If s/he doesn't work, s/he'll surely return to his or her addiction; and if s/he returns to addiction, s/he'll likely die. Then faith will be dead indeed.

Do I believe, through my faith, that I can be uniquely useful to those who still suffer?

Today I Pray
May my faith in my Higher Power and in the influence of The Program be multiplied within me as I pass it along to others who are overcoming similar addictions. May I be certain that my helping others is not simply repaying my debts, but it is the only way I know to continue my spiritual growth and maintain my own sobriety.

Today I Will Remember
The more faith I can give, the more I will have.

Hazelden Foundation

April 30, 2014 - The Eye Opener

Step by Step
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
 
Today, I'll use a novel tactic: instead of an alcoholic, I'll be a soberholic. If "alcoholic" calls attention to the fact that I am addicted to alcohol, can't "soberholic" state my addiction to sobriety? Arguably, despite the progress of AA in striking down the image of the alcoholic as the down-and-out'er sleeping in alleys or drying out in a flophouse, a jail's drunk tank or mental hospital, a stigma remains. Might I be able to erode that stigma by labeling my addiction sobriety instead of alcohol? If so, maybe the implication that my addiction is sobriety can renew my self-confidence and weaken any temptation or lingering doubt about drinking again. As someone addicted to sobriety, why do I need alcohol? Today, at the risk of angering those who warn against trading one addiction for another, I'll substitute dependence on alcohol to dependence on sobriety. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Country legend Dolly Parton officially backs same-sex marriage

Gay Star News: April 29, 2014 - Dolly Parton says she supports same-sex marriage

Groups combine for national campaign advocating for homeless LGBT teenagers

Anti-gay group accuses LGBT-friendly businesses in Mississippi of 'bullying' Christians

Louisiana lawmakers vote down LGBT housing protection measure

April 29, 2014 - Today's Gift from Hazelden

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Today's thought from Hazelden is:
Attitudes and Limitation

To a large extent, the way we think determines who we are and what happens to us.

We cannot harbor poisonous thoughts without their effects visibly showing in our lives. If we dwell on our inadequacy and ineffectiveness, for example, circumstances will prove us correct because we will invite self-defeating events to us.

On the other hand, replacing destructive thoughts with hope-filled, optimistic ones brings peaceful and confidence-producing circumstances to us. We will radiate competence and joy.

Today I will make it a habit to continually replace pessimistic thoughts with optimistic ones. I will dwell on what is uplifting so that I may increase my courage and confidence as well as better my circumstances.
From the book:
The Reflecting Pond by Liane Cordes. © 1981 by Hazelden Foundation

April 29, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Today, let me accept that service to other people or causes is the essential element in my program of recovery, that expending some of my attention to anything other than myself may put my problems in a more accurate perspective. Service can range from giving a lead talk, talking to a sponsor or one I sponsor, volunteering to make the coffee for a meeting or simply listening to someone else's problems or experiences. And possibly, the problems I have, or think I have and maybe exaggerate, may seem somewhat less burdensome. Adversely, I must respect prudence in not expending myself to the extreme that my own needs and working on problems are sacrificed and neglected. In the end, my Program requires that I not focus all that I have completely on myself and that, sharing or volunteering for some degree of service work may make my own problems less heavy. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

April 29, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
 
AA Thought for the Day
The AA program is one of faith, hope and charity. It's a program of hope because when new members come into AA, the first thing they get is hope. They hear older members tell how they had been through the same kind of hell that they have and how they found the way out through AA. And this gives them hope that if others can do it, they can do it.

Is hope still strong in me?

Meditation for the Day
The rule of God's kingdom is perfect order, perfect harmony, perfect supply, perfect love, perfect honesty, perfect obedience. There is no discord in God's kingdom, only some things still unconquered in God's children. The difficulties of life are caused by disharmony in the individual man or woman. People lack power because they lack harmony with God and with each other. They think that God fails because power is not manifested in their lives. God does not fail. People fail because they are out of harmony with Him.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be in harmony with God and with other people. I pray that this harmony will result in strength and success.

Hazelden Foundation

April 29, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 
 
Reflection for the Day 
As I grow in The Program - sharing, caring and becoming more and more active - I find that it's becoming easier to live in the Now. Even my vocabulary is changing. No longer is every other sentence salted with such well-used phrases as "could've," "should've," "would've," "might've." What's done is done and what will be will be. The only time that really matters is Now. 
 
Am I gaining real pleasure and serenity and peace in The Program? 
 
Today I Pray 
That I may collect all my scattered memories from the past and high-flown schemes and overblown fears for the future and compact them into the neater confines of Today. Only by living in the Now may I keep my balance, without bending backwards to the past or tipping forward into the future. May I stop trying to get my arms around my whole unwieldy lifetime and carry it around in a gunny sack with me wherever I go.

Today I Will Remember 
Make room for today. 
 
Hazelden Foundation

April 29, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
 
Effort has been made to carry AA into schools and young people's organizations, but the effective response has been so negligible that it has usually been abandoned after a short trial.

AA is a program for ALCOHOLICS - persons suffering from alcoholism. It was designed to appeal to them and them only. It is probably true that we can tell the kids a lot about drinking, but it will fall on deaf ears. Unfortunately, we must be pricked by the sharp thorn of experience in order to learn.

Hazelden Foundation

Monday, April 28, 2014

U.S. Catholics more liberal on gay issues than white evangelical Protestants

Donald Sterling’s personal beliefs are none of your business - right?

The New Civil Rights Movement: April 28, 2014 - Donald Sterling’s Personal Beliefs Are None Of Your Business — Right?

Proposed cuts to South Carolina colleges over ‘gay books’ face opposition in Senate

April 28, 2014 - Today's Gift from Hazelden

Monday, April 28, 2014
Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Listening well

Learning to really listen to another human being - beyond just his or her words - is critical to good communication. Valuable exchanges between human beings can occur only when each listens carefully to the other and tries sincerely to understand the other person's meaning. Much anger and frustration with others could be avoided if we truly understood one another.

Constant thoughts running through our minds is a form of talking, and we can't listen to another (including our Higher Power) if we are still talking.

Do I really listen?

Higher Power, help me be quiet enough within to listen to others today. By trying to understand another, let me learn something about myself.
From the book:
Day by Day © 1974, 1998 by Hazelden Foundation

April 28, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, April 28, 2014
 
Today, I will not turn away from a mistake with a sense of failure or "blame" someone else for a mistake I make. No Program of recovery reaches for perfection because no person will or can ever achieve it; likewise, I cannot and must not impose that unreachable goal on myself - and others. AA's 10th Step says, in part, that we "promptly admitted" when we are wrong - not if. Thus, let me not be so vain as to place responsibility for my mistakes, big and small, on someone or something else; adversely, let me not be discouraged by a sense of failure when I err in word, thought and deed. Instead, let me be open to owning my mistakes, identifying the reason for them - and correcting the reason so that I do not repeat them again. Today, I am not mistake-proof and I cannot expect myself to be - nor can I expect anyone and anything else to be likewise. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

April 28, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, April 28, 2014 
 
AA Thought for the Day 
We're so glad to be free from liquor that we do something about it. We get into action. We come to meetings regularly. We go out and try to help other alcoholics. We pass on the good news whenever we get a chance. In a spirit of thankfulness to God, we get into action. The AA program is simple. Submit yourself to God, find release from liquor and get into action. Do these things and keep doing them and you're all set for the rest of your life. 
 
Have I got into action?

Meditation for the Day 
God's eternal quest must be the tracking down of souls. You should join Him in His quest. Through briars, through waste places, through glades, up mountain heights, down into valleys. God leads you. But ever with His leadership goes your helping hand. Glorious to follow where the Leader goes. You are seeking lost sheep. You are bringing the good news into places where it has not been known before. You may not know which soul you will help, but you can leave all results to God. Just go with Him in His eternal quest for souls.

Prayer for the Day 
I pray that I may follow God in His eternal quest for souls. I pray that I may offer God my helping hand.

Hazelden Foundation

April 28, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, April 28, 2014
 
Reflection for the Day
I will resolve to observe with new interest even the commonplace things that happen today. If I learn to see everything with a fresh eye, perhaps I'll find I have countless reasons for contentment and gratitude. When I find myself trapped in the quicksand of my negative thoughts, I'll turn away from them - and grab for the life-saving strength of sharing with others in The Program.

Do I carry my weight as an all-important link in the worldwide chain of The Program?

Today I Pray
I pray that God will open my eyes to the smallest everyday wonders, that I may notice and list among my blessings things like just feeling good, being able to think clearly. Even when I make a simple, unimportant choice like whether to order coffee or tea or a soft drink, may I be reminded that the power of choice is a gift from God.

Today I Will Remember
I am blessed with the freedom of choice.

Hazelden Foundation

April 28, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, April 28, 2014
 
The span of human life is such a small part of eternity that the length of your life, whether it be 20 years or 100, is of no moment. Yet the lifespan of some men has, and will continue to have, great influence upon many succeeding generations.

If you can by one single act do something that will benefit just one person 50 years from now, you will have done more than millions who have before you. Few leave anything to posterity when they die that will outlive their tombstone.

Hazelden Foundation

Sunday, April 27, 2014

So, just WHAT is so scary about 'Two Boys Kissing?'

The New Civil Rights Movement: April 27, 2014 - On Our Radar – What’s So Scary About Two Boys Kissing?

Picketers target Beverly Hills Hotel to protest anti-gay Brunei owner

HRC plans three-year LGBT rights push in three Deep South states

Judge denies anti-gay group standing in Florida same-sex marriage challenge

April 27, 2014 - Today's Gift from Hazelden

Sunday, April 27, 2014
Today's thought from Hazelden is:

I get a massage almost every week no matter where I am, eat a healthy diet, schedule time alone, and if I get to a point where I feel I need a block of time...I'll cancel.
 -- Anne Wilson Schaef

Do we love and care for our body as well as we love and care for our home and car? Do we feel our body deserves full attention and a loving maintenance plan?

Taking our body for granted is easy because of its remarkable durability and regenerative power. We may get lulled into a false sense of "nine lives" body security, believing our physical being will fix itself no matter what.

Self-care takes time and priority planning to be successful. We may find we put off our exercise and nutritional needs saying, "Tomorrow I'll start taking better care of myself." But sooner or later tomorrow comes, and our body produces symptoms that demand attention.

Learning to love and nurture our body brings rewards without measure. We deserve to reap the benefits starting today.

Today let me realize that respect for my body builds a healing temple in which the rest of my life can grow.
From the book:
Body, Mind, and Spirit © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation

April 27, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, April 27, 2014
 
Today, I will work on my character defects of frustration and impatience as they relate to my relationships and communications. As a drinking alcoholic, frustration and impatience walked hand-in-hand when it came to dealing with others: frustration with impatience of people who did not react how and when I expected. As a recovering alcoholic, frustration and impatience still walk hand-in-hand in dealing with others. Clearly, little change; also clearly, abstaining from the bottle isn't all that recovery requires. A fundamental change in character and emotional development is needed. If I overreact when people do not respond when and how I believe they should, maybe I am the problem by not opening myself to the possibility that I might learn or understand something that someone could offer when their thought processes don't match up with mine. Today, I will work consciously and conscientiously on my defects of frustration and impatience by considering the possibility that someone other than myself might have a better idea. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

April 27, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, April 27, 2014
 
AA Thought for the Day
By submitting to God, we're released from the power of liquor. It has no more hold on us. We're also released from the things that were holding us down: pride, selfishness, and fear. And we're free to grow into a new life, which is so much better than the old life that there's no comparison. This release gives us serenity and peace with the world.

Have I been released from the power of alcohol?

Meditation for the Day
We know God by spiritual vision. We feel that He is beside us. We feel His presence. Contact with God is not made by the senses. Spirit-consciousness replaces sight. Since we cannot see God, we have to perceive Him by spiritual perception. God has to span the physical and the spiritual with the gift to us of spiritual vision. Many persons, though they cannot see God, have had a clear spiritual consciousness of Him. We are inside a box of space and time, but we know there must be something outside of that box - limitless space, eternity of time, and God.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may have a consciousness of God's presence. I pray that God will give me spiritual vision.

Hazelden Foundation

April 27, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, April 27, 2014 
Reflection for the Day 
Am I so sure I'm doing everything possible to make my new life a success? Am I using my capabilities well? Do I recognize and appreciate all I have to be grateful for? The Program and its Twelve Steps teach me that I am the possessor of unlimited resources. The more I do with them, the more they will grow - to overshadow and cancel out the difficult and painful feelings that now get so much of my attention. 
 
Am I less sensitive today than when I first came to The Program? 
 
Today I Pray 
May I make the most of myself in all ways. May I begin to look outward to people and opportunities and wonderful resources around me. As I become less ingrown and understand myself better in relation to others, may I be less touchy and thin-skinned. May I shrug off my old "the world-is-out-to-get-me" feeling and see that same world as my treasure-house, God-given and boundless. 
 
Today I Will Remember 
My resources are unlimited. 
 
Hazelden Foundation

April 27, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, April 27, 2014
 
Real reforms are in people, not in movements. All the laws and demands of church, state and family could not make us change our drinking habits. But the day eventually came when we wanted to change and then, and then only, was the change possible. Prohibition legislation was only a challenge to us and we drank the more because they said we could not. We were determined to show those So-and-So's they couldn't stop us.

Only when we, ourselves, wanted to do something about it was any real reformation possible.

Hazelden Foundation

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Neon Trees singer Tyler Glenn hopes he is positive gay Mormon role model

Tom Daley named sports personality of year at Britain's 'gay Oscars'

In Mississippi, anti-gay group counters small business pro-LGBT campaign as anti-religious freedom

Mormon leaders omit ‘gay’ in survey asking students their sexual orientation

April 26, 2014 - Today's Gift from Hazelden

Saturday, April 26, 2014
Today's thought from Hazelden is:

A man without ambition is dead. A man with ambition but no love is dead. A man with ambition and love for his blessings here on earth is ever so alive.
 -- Pearl Bailey

Is our glass half full or half empty? We may see ourselves as positive people, but when we take the time to examine our thoughts closely, we may be surprised. We may have a lot to complain about, but so what? We can choose misery or happiness. It's all in how we see that glass.

Instead of griping about bills, we become thankful for the money that is coming in. Instead of thinking about what activities we're missing in our lives, we're grateful for the solitude. Instead of being hurt by what friends and family aren't doing, we feel blessed we have them in our lives in the first place.

Today I will humble myself by counting my blessings, knowing that without them I would truly be lost.
From the book:
Letting Go of Debt © 2000 by Hazelden Foundation

April 26, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Saturday, April 26, 2014
 
Today, grant me the wisdom and prudence to appreciate the power of the spoken word, the one spewed in anger, fear, frustration or sarcasm and which can inflict more damage than any destructive act of my drinking days. Let me understand that a single wrong word can do hurt and injury that might not be healed by any amend I might make. And even if my amend or apology is accepted, the injury and hurt may cut so deeply in the person against whom the wrong word is spoken, something can still be lost permanently. I pray for guidance in the 12th Step that I practice all the Program's principles in all my affairs, including not caving into the impulsiveness or anger of unleashing a word that is intended to impose hurt. Today, I must think before I speak, especially if I am angry, frustrated or afraid, because I cannot unspeak it - and atonement may not be enough to repair the damage. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014