Friday, October 20, 2017

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

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

Self-Seeking Slips Away

Today, God, help me remember that not everything is about me.
When I was using, thinking of myself was my whole existence. With abstinence, I began to practice understanding, humility, gratitude, caring, and sharing with others.
By having faith in our Program's recovery Steps and their other-centeredness focus, I am reminded that I am a person who truly needs other people.
You are reading from the book:
The 12 Step Prayer Book Volume 2 by Bill P. and Lisa D. © 2007 by Hazelden Foundation

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

Step by Step
Friday, Oct. 20, 2017

Todaystep outside myself if I have retreated inward because of some problem or emotion that I haven't confronted. And, instead, I will extend my hand to someone in need. Service to others is a fundamental and integral component of recovery and, by seeking out and offering someone who needs my help, I may understand that my own burden is not as heavy as another person's. To permit some problem to hold me hostage within myself is empowering that problem and forcing me to ignore the needs of both myself and someone else. On a less altruistic level, the weight of another person's burdens may humble me enough to realize that my own burdens may not be as heavy as I think. Today, I step outside myself and offer my help to someone who needs and wants it. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, Oct. 20, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
For the past few weeks, we have been asking ourselves some searching questions. We have not been able to answer them all as we would like. But on the right answers to these questions will depend the usefulness and effectiveness of our lives and to some extent the usefulness and effectiveness of the whole AA movement. It all boils down to this: I owe a deep debt to AA and to the grace of God. Am I going to do all I can to repay that debt? Let us search our souls, make our decisions and act accordingly. Any real success we have in life will depend on that. Now is the time to put our conclusions into effect.

What am I going to do about it?

Meditation for the Day
"Our Lord and our God, be it done unto us according to Thy will." Simple acceptance of God's will in whatever happens is the key to abundant living. We must continue to pray. "Not my will but Thy will be done." It may not turn out the way you want it to, but it will be the best way in the long run, because it is God's way. If you decide to accept whatever happens as God's will for yourself, whatever it may be, your burdens will be lighter. Try to see in all things some fulfillment of the Divine Intent.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may see the working out of God's will in my life. I pray that I may be content with whatever He wills for me.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Friday, Oct. 20, 2017

Reflection for the Day
Before I admitted my powerlessness over alcohol and other chemicals, I had as much self-worth as a "peeled zero." I came into The Program as a nobody who desperately wanted to be a somebody. In retrospect, my self-esteem was shredded, seemingly beyond repair. Gradually, The Program has enabled me to achieve an ever-stronger sense of self-worth. I've come to accept myself, realizing that I'm not so bad as I had always supposed myself to be.

Am I learning that my self-worth is not dependent on the approval of others, but instead is truly an "inside job?"

Today I Pray
When I am feeling down and worthless, may my Higher Power and my friends in the group help me see that, although I was "fallen," I was not "cast down." However sick I might have been in my worst days, with all the self-esteem of an earth worm, may I know that I still had the power of choice. And I chose to do something about myself. May that good choice be the basis of my reactivated self-worth.

Today I Will Remember
I will not kick myself when I'm down.

Hazelden Foundation

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

The Eye Opener
Friday, Oct. 20, 2017

For a person who knew almost everything just a few years back and who now knows more than he did then, it is indeed strange to have had that consciousness of just beginning to learn the most elementary facts of living.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 20, 2017 - Time to greet Friday and with renewed faith, courage, hope and strength


Thursday, October 19, 2017

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

Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
It's easy to look at all the tasks and unsolved problems and feel so pressured that we get paralyzed and don't get anything done. It takes discipline to gather in our scattered forces and focus on one thing, one day, one step, and sometimes one hour – even when taking only that one step can seem so trivial in the face of all that looms.
Inventory Focus:
Are you creating unnecessary fear and drama by taking on more than you handle? Are you willing to trade in the I'm-out-of-control-and-overwhelmed feeling for a sense of manageability? Do you have any history with deliberately living life one day or one step at a time? How did that work?
Plans, goals, and dreams are good, but the only way to get there is one day at a time.
You are reading from the book:
52 Weeks of Conscious Contact © 2003 by Melody Beattie

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

Step by Step
Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

Today, if alcohol is "cunning and baffling," its end product - alcoholism - is mysterious because it took alcoholism guided me to a program to begin my physical, spiritual and emotional recovery. And without going through the deepest of gutters, the darkest of nights and the sickest of physical and emotional conditions, I may never have emerged from that life of being half-dead and half-alive to being, now, fully alive. In a bizarre osmosis, if I cannot be grateful, I must at least not deny, reject or forget those days of my drinking because they brought me to a place where the healing begins. Today, I respect and am almost grateful for the experience of alcoholism because it has brought me to where I am - here. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Do I realize that I do not know how much time I have left? It may be later than I think. Am I going to do the things that I know I should do before my time runs out? By the way, what is my purpose for the rest of my life? Do I realize all I have to make up for in my past wasted life? Do I know that I am living on borrowed time and that I would not have even this much time left without AA and the grace of God?

Am I going to make what time I have left count for AA?

Meditation for the Day
We can believe that somehow the cry of the human soul is never unheard by God. It may be that God hears the cry, even if we fail to notice God's response to it. The human cry for help must always evoke a response of some sort from God. It may be that our failure to discern properly keeps us unaware of the response. But one thing we can believe is that the grace of God is always available for every human being who sincerely calls for help. Many changed lives are living proofs of this fact.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may trust God to answer my prayer as He sees fit. I pray that I may be content with whatever form that answer may take.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 19, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

Reflection for the Day
There are countless ways by which my progress and growth in The Program can be measured. One of the most important is my awareness that I'm no longer compelled, almost obsessively, to go around judging everything and everybody. My only business today is to work on changing myself, rather than other people, places and things. In its own way, the obsession of being forever judgmental was as burdensome to me as the obsession of my addiction; I'm grateful that both weights have been lifted from my shoulders.

When I become judgmental, will I remind myself that I'm trespassing on God's territory?

Today I Pray
Forgive me my trespasses, when I have become the self-proclaimed judge-and-jury of my peers. By being judgmental, I have trespassed on the rights of others to judge themselves - and on the rights of God in the Highest Court of all. May I throw away all my judgmental tools - my own yardstick and measuring tapes, my own comparisons, my unreachable standards - and accept each person as an individual beyond compare.

Today I Will Remember
Throw away old tapes - especially measuring tapes.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 19, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

Bad luck is not often just a series of unhappy events that just happened. Our bad luck is usually the result of our ignorance, carelessness or indifference.

Our experience with bad luck should make us more careful and then good luck can be expected to follow in consequence.

It was your bad luck that brought you to AA; it was your good luck that you profited by it.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 19, 2017 - Time to get going on a Thursday with renewed faith, hope, courage, strength and gratitude


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Oct. 18, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is: 

The feeling of belonging is a gift

The feeling of belonging - knowing that we have a place - is one of the most important gifts that two partners can give to each other. When we agree to commit ourselves to a partnership, we give each other the key to our daily lives. We allow our mate to be there with us in a way we would not let others. That means that we can expect to have a place that does not have to be renegotiated every day. This feeling of belonging is a gift, but it must be received. In essence, we say to our partner, "I take my place here in your life because we have our relationship. I will relax. I don't stand at the door and knock. We have already told each other that we are included in each other's lives."

This sense of belonging stands in sharp contrast to those feelings of isolation and alienation that we can feel in so many ways. It does not mean that one partner owns the other or that no boundary or separateness exists. But the joy of connection frees people in relationships to fulfill themselves and carry on their lives while in the close comfort of one they love.

Tell your partner how you know you have a place in her or his life.
You are reading from the book:
The More We Find in Each Other by Merle Fossum and Mavis Fossum. © 1992 by Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 18, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017

Today, no waste of valuable time that should be spent on progressing in sobriety to fight an urge for "just one" drink. I already know the deception of "just one." AA has armed us with the steps to dodge the bullet of temptation, and personal experience shows time and again the consequences if I give in. In the end, the temptation to drink "just one" is a simple choice, and that choice like any other has consequences - and I alone will be responsible to those consequences. They have taken too much from me already. Thus, the choice is simple: DON'T DRINK. Today, I don't have time to deal with temptation or wondering if I can get away with "just one." I can't. More significantly, I don't want to drink. Case closed. Today, I'll focus my emotional energy on something more productive, like sobriety. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Oct. 18, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Have I got over most of my sensitiveness, my feelings which are too easily hurt and my just plain laziness and self-satisfaction? Am I willing to go all out for AA at no matter what cost to my precious self? Is my own comfort more important to me than doing the things that need to be done? Have I got to the point where what happens to me is not so important? Can I face up to things that are embarrassing or uncomfortable if they are the right things to do for the good of AA? Have I given AA just a small piece of myself?

Am I willing to give all of myself whenever necessary?

Meditation for the Day
Not until you have failed can you learn true humility. Humility arises from a deep sense of gratitude to God for giving you the strength to rise above past failures. Humility is not inconsistent with self-respect. The true person has self-respect and the respect of others and yet is humble. The humble person is tolerant of others' failings, and does not have a critical attitude toward the foibles of others. Humble people are hard on themselves and easy on others.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be truly humble and yet have self-respect. I pray that I may see the good in myself as well as the bad.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 18, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017

Reflection for the Day
Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the rewards that would be mine when I first contemplated turning my life and will over to the care of God as I understand Him. Now I can rejoice in the blessing of my own recovery, as well as the recoveries of countless others who have found hope and a new way of life in The Program. After all the years of waste and terror, I realize today that God has always been on my side and at my side.

Isn't my clearer understanding of God's will one of the best things that has happened to me?

Today I Pray
May I be thankful for the blessed contrast between the way my life used to be (Part I) and the way it is now (Part II). In Part I, I was the practicing addict, adrift among my fears and delusions. In Part II, I am the recovering addict, rediscovering my emotions, accepting my responsibilities, learning what the real world has to offer, growing close to my Higher Power. Without the contrast, I could never feel the joy I know today or sense the peaceful nearness of my Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember
I am grateful for such contrast.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 18, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017

The life of the alcoholic is very similar to a jigsaw puzzle. In our days of drinking, the whole of life appeared as simply a jumbled mass of unrelated pieces, impossible to unscramble.

In AA, someone gave us the cornerpiece and, from this, we slowly and laboriously found one piece after another. Each piece that we fitted in made it easier to find the next piece.

First, we found understanding, then hope, then determination, then sobriety, then unselfishness, then love, then faith and finally God.

All the pieces are in place finally, the picture makes sense - and it is beautiful to behold.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 18, 2017 - Rise 'n shine for a Wednesday of renewed faith, hope, courage, peace and gratitude


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Oct. 17, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is: 

Reflection for the Day
"When a man has reached a condition in which he believes that a thing must happen when he does not wish it, and that what he wishes to happen never will be, this is really the state called desperation," wrote Arthur Schopenhauer. The very real pain of emotional difficulties is sometimes very hard to take while we're trying to maintain sobriety. Yet we learn, in time, that overcoming such problems is the real test of the Program's way of living.
Do I believe that adversity gives me more opportunity to grow than does comfort or success?

Today I Pray
May I believe firmly that God, in God's infinite wisdom, does not send me those occasional moments of emotional stress in order to tease my sobriety, but to challenge me to grow in my control and my conviction. May I learn not to be afraid of emotional summits and canyons for the Program has outfitted me for all kinds of terrain.

Today I will remember strength through adversity.
You are reading from the book:
A Day at a Time © 1989 by Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 17, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017

Today, no regrets, grief, sense of loss or the bitter from the sweet of what I must leave behind in my journey toward sobriety. Some people and places that were a significant, even enabling part of my life in my drinking days may no longer have a place in my new life in recovery, and I must be prepared that I may have to cut some losses in order to attain greater gains. If I am reluctant to move on without someone or something that was an influential part of my life as a drinking alcoholic, may I be able to remove myself from the emotional and use the logic to ask if maintaining old ties is worth the risk to my recovery. If so, I have no choice but to move on although I will never be alone. Today, if my sobriety requires it, I may have to make the tough choices between what once was seemingly precious to me and moving toward something even more precious. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Oct. 17, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
What am I going to do today for AA? Is there someone I should call up on the telephone or someone I should go to see? Is there a letter I should write? Is there an opportunity somewhere to advance the work of AA which I have been putting off or neglecting? If so, will I do it today? Will I be done with procrastination and do what I have to do today? Tomorrow may be too late. How do I know there will be a tomorrow for me? How about getting out of my easy chair and getting going?

Do I feel that AA depends partly on me today?

Meditation for the Day
Today look upward toward God, not downward toward yourself. Look away from unpleasant surroundings, from lack of beauty, from the imperfections in yourself and in those around you. In your unrest, behold God's calmness; in your impatience, God's patience; in your limitations, God's perfection. Looking upward to God, your spirit will begin to grow. Then others will see something in you that they also want. As you grow in the spiritual life, you will be enabled to do many things that seemed too hard for you before.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may keep my eyes trained above the horizon of myself. I pray that I may see infinite possibilities for spiritual growth.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 17, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017

Reflection for the Day
Now that we're sober and living in reality, it's sometimes difficult to see ourselves as others see us and, in the process, determine how much progress we've made in recovery. In the old days, the back-of-the-bar mirror presented us with a distorted and illusory view of ourselves; the way we imagined ourselves to be and the way we imagined ourselves to appear in the eyes of others. A good way for me to measure my progress today is simply to look about me at my friends in The Program. As I witness the miracle of their recoveries, I realize that I'm part of the same miracle - and will remain so as long as I'm willing.

Am I grateful for reality and the Divine miracle of my recovery?

Today I Pray
May God keep my eyes open for miracles - those marvelous changes that have taken place in my own life and in the lives of my friends in the group. May I ask no other measurement of progress than a smile I can honestly mean and a clear eye and a mind that can, at last, touch reality. May my own joy be my answer to my question, "How am I doing?"

Today I Will Remember
Miracles measure our progress: Who needs more?

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 17, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017

In your AA talks, you may have the eloquence of a Patrick Henry but, if your AA work stops there, you are only fooling the new man temporarily. He will soon get wise to the fact that you are but a phonograph - nice to listen to but of no use to anyone beyond this one function.

Beautiful sentiments need lovely actions or they have but little value. Lovely actions speak for themselves.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 17, 2017 - Good Tuesday morning with reaffirmed faith, courage, strength, peace and gratitude


Monday, October 16, 2017

Oct. 16, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, Oct. 16, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is: 

Self-Help or Mutual Aid?
Assisting Others


The Twelve Step movement is sometimes called a self-help program. This falls short of describing what it really is. Mutual aid might be a better term.

Self-help implies that an individual will help himself or herself. Mutual aid is a much different sort of thing. With mutual aid, we do help ourselves, but we have found that the best way to do this is by helping each other. Self-help says, "I can do it," whereas mutual aid says, "We can do it."

We should not dismiss the idea of self-help or of doing one's best in achieving self-improvement. We must know, however, that we need the assistance and loving help of others for our highest growth. There are times when we will feel helpless and alone. That's when mutual aid will carry the day for us and perhaps even save our lives.

I'll realize today that I have a bond with others, and that I can achieve my highest good only in mutual service with them.
You are reading from the book:
Walk in Dry Places by Mel B. © 1996 by Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 16, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, Oct. 16, 2017
"The less people tolerated (alcoholics), the more we withdrew from society, from life itself. As we became subjects of King Alcohol, shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding companionship and approval. Momentarily we did - then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen - Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 11 ("A Vision for You"), p 151.

Today, the "hideous Four Horsemen," remembering that they once again will overwhelm me - if I allow them. I must not let either time or the distance from my last drink dim the desperation of the "chilling vapor that is loneliness" and the "sordid places" I sought for approval, acceptance or simple companionship. Nor must I forget the shattered quiet morning after when self-loathing, desperation and physical and emotional emptiness fueled the cycle to do it all over again and face another night of that "chilling vapor" of loneliness and another shattered quiet morning after. My life in sobriety is a day-by-day reprieve from that desperate drinking, and I must not take for granted today that sobriety is guaranteed to me tomorrow. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017