Friday, December 15, 2017

Dec. 15, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Friday, Dec. 15, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Say when it's time to do that difficult thing

Sometimes, true windows of opportunity open in our lives. We get a chance to make that amend. The perfect time to end or resolve that relationship arises. It's like a gift from God when that window opens up. All we need to do is gently step through. But sometimes, we need to help God open the window - especially when we're working up the courage to do a difficult thing.

Maybe we're waiting for just the right moment to end a relationship. Maybe we're looking for an opportunity to make amends, tell someone we're sorry about something we've done that's caused that person pain. Maybe we have a new project we'd like to begin. Sometimes, we can passively wait, and wait, and that window just seems painted shut and stuck.

Ask God to help open the window, but do your part, too. Make a decision that you're going to do it - whatever it is. Then let go, but not too long. Remember your decision. Remember your commitment to opening that window. Don't force it, but focus your attention. You may begin to feel the slightest crack in the energy, that opening you need. Or you may have to wiggle the window frame, push on it just the slightest bit, to crack it open yourself. Then you'll see it. You'll feel it move. There. It's open.

Help God open that window in your life by deciding to do it.

God, help me remember that the time doesn't always feel right. Help me honor my deepest urges to do what I must to take care of myself.
You are reading from the book:

More Language of Letting Go © 2000 by Melody Beattie

Dec. 15, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 

Today, I guard against associating the quantity of my sobriety with its quality. If my recovery consists only of not drinking and I have not tended to my emotional and spiritual diseases, I am little more than a dry drunk. Further, I need to understand and appreciate the truth that ours is a day-to-day reprieve and that weeks, months and even years without drinking is no guarantee that I won't slip or relapse today. Even if my own sobriety dates several 24 Hours, let me understand that I am no more sober than the person whose last drink was 24 Hours ago and, likewise, that person is no less sober than I. But, if my own sobriety is several 24 Hours, let me also accept and respect the responsibility to the program. I may be asked to carry the message to someone who needs and seeks it. To that extent, I owe the program the integrity of my sobriety and pass it on to whoever seeks it. Today, I am sober 24 Hours. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Dec. 15, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, Dec. 15, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Service to others makes the world a good place. Civilization would cease if all of us were always and only for ourselves. We alcoholics have a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the well-being of the world. We have a common problem. We find a common answer. We are uniquely equipped to help others with the same problem. What a wonderful world it would be if everybody took his own greatest problem and found the answer to it and spent the rest of his life helping others with the same problem in his spare time. Soon we would have the right kind of a world.

Do I appreciate my unique opportunity to be of service?

Meditation for the Day
Today can be lived in the consciousness of God's contact, upholding you in all good thoughts, words and deeds. If sometimes there seems to be a shadow on your life and you feel out of sorts, remember that this is not the withdrawal of God's presence but only your own temporary unwillingness to realize it. The quiet gray days are the days for doing what you must do, but know that the consciousness of God's nearness will return and be with you again, when the gray days are past.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may face the dull days with courage. I pray that I may have faith that the bright days will return.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 15, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Friday, Dec. 15, 2017

Reflection for the Day
Some people are such worriers that they worry about the fact that they have nothing to worry about. Newcomers in The Program sometimes feel, for example, "This is much too good to last." Most of us, however, have plenty of real things to worry about - old standbys like money, health, death and taxes, to name just a few. But The Program tells us that the proven antidote to worry and fear is confidence - confidence not in ourselves but in our Higher Power.

Will I continue to believe that God can and will avert the calamity that I spend my days and nights dreading? Will I believe that if calamity does strike, God will enable me to see it through?

Today I Pray
May I realize that the worry habit - worry that grows out of broader, often unlabeled fears - will take more than time to conquer. Like many dependent people, I have lived with worry so long that it has become my constant, floor-pacing companion. May my Higher Power teach me that making a chum out of worry is a waste of my energy and fritters away my constructive hours.

Today I Will Remember
Kick the worry habit.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 15, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Friday, Dec. 15, 2017

Faith is a fundamental requisite of success in retaining our sobriety - faith in God, faith in the Program, and faith in ourselves.

It can be likened to swimming: every normal person can swim, if he has faith in the laws of buoyancy and allows himself to be submerged enough. Those people who cannot swim are those who are afraid of the water and try to raise themselves above it.

Faith in the laws of Nature and in yourself enables you to swim, and a like faith in God, the Program and yourself will enable you to achieve our way of living.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 15, 2017 - Rise 'n shine for a fantastic Friday with new faith, hope, strength and gratitude


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dec. 14, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

You are the hero of your life

Each of us plays the starring role in the drama that is our life. We co-create the script, along with our Higher Power. Sometimes we forget our lines, and so we improvise as best we can. We are heroes, each of us, as we move through the events of the day, refining our character and using our gifts to shape the action of every scene.

We can each be a hero in the drama of recovery. To the casual observer, what we do and say may not appear to be at all heroic. But we - as insiders who are only too well acquainted with our individual limitations - can appreciate and applaud a difficult decision or action.

When we accept our role in life, when we pledge to use our energies to do the best we can, and when we rely on our Higher Power for guidance and support, we will be well on our way toward recovering.

I can be a hero today, even if it doesn't show.
You are reading from the book:

This book is now out of print and no longer available to purchase. Inner Harvest by Elisabeth L. © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 14, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017
Today, and hopefully every subsequent 24 Hours, I will include discipline in my recovery. Let me reach back into my yesterdays to learn from my mistakes as a drinking alcoholic and temper potential flareups of those mistakes with the discipline not to act or react as I did then. While I cannot undo the damage or hurt of my mistakes then, I can prevent them from happening again by applying the discipline of changing myself. With discipline, I may reach the point where it is second-nature and something I don't have to consciously exert. This, in effect, is one of the spiritual awakenings or experiences promised in the 12 Steps. With discipline, grant me patience, logic over emotion, selflessness and kindness in place of intentional harm. Today, I begin to work consciously not to redo what I did wrong yesterday. Today, I expect progress from myself and not from the outside. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Dec. 14, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
The way of AA is the way of service. Without that, it would not work. We have been "on the wagon" and hated it. We have taken the pledge and waited for the time to be up with impatience. We have tried in all manner of ways to help ourselves. But not until we begin to help other people do we get full relief. It is an axiom that the AA program has to be given away in order to be kept. A river flows into the Dead Sea and stops. A river flows into a clear pool and flows out again. We get and then we give. If we do not give, we do not keep.

Have I given up all ideas of holding AA for myself alone?

Meditation for the Day
Try to see the life of the spirit as a calm place, shut away from the turmoil of the world. Think of your spiritual home as a place full of peace, serenity and contentment. Go to this quiet, meditative place for the strength to carry you through today's duties and problems. Keep coming back here for refreshment when you are weary of the hubbub of the outside world. From this quietness and communion comes our strength.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may keep this resting place where I can commune with God. I pray that I may find refreshment in meditation on the Eternal.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 14, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017

Reflection for the Day
Some of us in The Program are inclined to make the mistake of thinking that the few moments we spend in prayer and meditation - in "talking with God" - are all that count. The truth is that the attitude we maintain throughout the entire day is just as important. If we place ourselves in God's hands in the morning, and throughout the day hold ourselves ready to accept His will as it is made known through the events of our daily life, our attitude of acceptance becomes a constant prayer.

Can I try to cultivate an attitude of total acceptance each day?

Today I Pray
May I maintain contact with my Higher Power all through my day, not just check in for a prayer now and then. May my communion with God never become merely a casual aside. May I come to know that every time I do something that is in accord with God's will I am living a prayer.

Today I Will Remember
Prayer is an attitude.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 14, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017

Our greatest enemy was alcohol and we have learned to how protect ourselves against it. But we are in constant danger from some of our well-meaning friends. They constantly tell us how wonderful we are in that we have cut out our drinking and, unfortunately, we sometimes believe them to the point where our heads begin to swell.

At that very moment, that very necessary ingredient of sobriety - HUMILITY - goes out the window and sobriety frequently accompanies it.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 14, 2017 - Good morning to Thursday with renewed faith, hope, courage and gratitude


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dec. 13, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

How will you dream if you don't sleep?
How will you hear yourself?

 -- Michael Dorris


Sleep is a wonderful gift in our lives. For eight hours, we rest our bodies. We let the thoughts, feelings, and events of our lives tumble through our sleeping minds as they sort themselves through our dreams.

But dreams are not always happy. Some of us are afraid to sleep. Our dreams scare us. We may dream about using again or about bad things that happened. But we shouldn't let our dreams fool us. They are not reality. They are just feelings, thoughts, and memories working themselves out. In early recovery, there are a lot of things to sort out.

We create the reality of our lives by the choices we make when we are awake: how much we trust in our Higher Power, how we care of ourselves, how we treat others, how we work our program.


Prayer for the Day
Higher Power, help me listen to the messages of my dreams. Help me understand that my dreams will get better as my life gets better.

Today's Action
I will listen to my dreams. What is my mind working out in my sleep? If I remember my dreams, I will talk about them with my friends.
You are reading from the book:

God Grant Me. . . © 2005 by Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 13, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017 
"In our belief, any scheme of combating alcoholism which proposes to shield the sick man from temptation is doomed to failure. If the alcoholic tries to shield himself, he may succeed for a time, but he usually winds up with a bigger explosion than ever. We have tried these methods. These attempts to do the impossible have always failed." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 7 ("Working With Others"), p 101. 

Todayrecognize that we cannot shield ourselves from places or people that could trigger temptation. Doing that is living in the problem of alcoholism and not in the solution of sobriety. I may well be required to attend gatherings where alcohol is available, or I may be in a relationship where my spouse or companion continues to drink. Shielding myself from any source of alcohol will undoubtedly limit my ability to carry out the command of the 12th Step - to work with others who are still drinking. While I certainly don't want to risk temptation by returning to my past watering holes for a cup of coffee, I cannot reasonably expect myself never to be in a situation where alcohol is served. In those instances, then, I have AA to get through any temptation. It is up to me to invoke and put the steps to work. I am an alcoholic, but I am a recovering one. I have the choice to live with the problem of fighting temptation or with the solution of recovery. Today, I pick the latter. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Dec. 13, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
We come now to AA fellowship. It is partly group therapy. It is partly spiritual fellowship. But it is even more. It is based on a common illness, a common failure, a common problem. It goes deep down into our personal lives and our personal needs. It requires a full opening up to each other of our innermost thoughts and most secret problems. All barriers between us are swept aside. They have to be. Then we try to help each other get well. The AA fellowship is based on a sincere desire to help the other person. In AA we can be sure of sympathy, understanding and real help. These things make the AA fellowship the best that we know.

Do I fully appreciate the depth of the AA fellowship?

Meditation for the Day
The Higher Power can guide us to the right decisions if we pray about them. We can believe that many details of our lives are planned by God and planned with a wealth of forgiving love for the mistakes we have made. We can pray today to be shown in the right way. We can choose the good, and when we choose it, we can feel that the whole power of the universe is behind us. We can achieve a real harmony with God's purpose for our lives.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may choose aright today. I pray that I may be shown the right way to live today.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 13, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017

Reflection for the Day
A friend in The Program told me of a favorite hymn from her childhood: "Open my eyes that I may see glimpses of truth Thou hast for me." In actuality, that is what The Program has done for me - it has opened my eyes so that I have come to see the true nature of my addiction, as well as the true nature of the joyous life that can be mine if I practice the principles embodied in The Program's Twelve Steps to recovery.

Through prayer and meditation, am I also improving my inner vision, so that I can better see God's love and power working in me and through me?

Today I Pray
May each glint of truth that I catch sight of as I work the Steps begin to take on the steadier shine of a fixed star. May I know that these stars are all that I need to chart my course and navigate safely. May I no longer feel the frantic need to put in to every unknown port along the way in search of direction. These stars are always mine to steer by.

Today I Will Remember
Find the fixed stars and fix on them.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 13, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017

One of the great satisfactions resulting from sobriety is the ability to drop into bed at night with the knowledge that the day has been completed, all chores finished and no regrets.

There will always be affairs to be taken care of on the morrow, but we know that tomorrow will find us physically and mentally prepared for most any eventuality. Remorse and Fear are no longer our bedfellows.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 13, 2017 - Rise 'n shine for a beautiful Wednesday with faith, hope, courage and gratitude


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Dec. 12, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Pity is the deadliest feeling that can be offered to a woman.
 -- Vicki Baum


We must move forward with confidence, trusting that the strength we need will be given us, having faith in our visions to guide us. Problems need not daunt us. Rather, they can spur us on to more creative activity. They challenge our capabilities. They insist that we not stand still.

Pity from others fosters inaction, and passivity invites death of the soul. Instead, our will to live is quickened through others' encouragement. All else dampens the will. Pity feeds the self-pity that rings the death knell.

We can give strokes wherever we are today and know that we are helping someone live. And each time we reach out to encourage another, we are breathing new life into ourselves, new life that holds at bay the self-pity that may appear at any moment.

We can serve one another best, never by commiserating with sadnesses, but by celebrating life's challenges. They offer the opportunities necessary to our continued growth.
Someone needs a word of encouragement from me. I will brighten their vision of the future.
You are reading from the book:

Each Day a New Beginning by Karen Casey. © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 12, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017 
"What alcoholic can live with rejection? How devastating, too, are the subsequent feelings of inadequacy and self-pity. There's only one answer - liquid comfort. The unwillingness to admit failure requires even further friendly intake. It becomes vital, also, that others not know of our defeats nor suspect our loss of confidence."- Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "They Stopped in Time," Ch 3 ("Those Golden Years"), p 331. 

Today, a drinking alcoholic cannot accept or live with rejection - but a recovering alcoholic can. With the program, I see now that what is "rejected" is not my entire being but only what I have said or done. And when I was ill-equipped as a drinking alcoholic to learn, the steps of AA alert me when I am wrong, to promptly admit it and how not to respond verbally without emotion but with logic. Few are the feelings of absolute rejection. I am sober now, though, and I can see with the vision AA has provided that I do not have to perceive a "no" to be a rejection of my total being but only in what I have said or done. In the end, I am a member of AA, and the program rejects no one. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Dec. 12, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Clergymen speak of the spiritual fellowship of the church. This is much closer to the AA way than mere group therapy. Such a fellowship is based on a common belief in God and a common effort to live a spiritual life. We try to do this in AA. We also try to get down to the real problems in each others' lives. We try to open up to each other. We have a real desire to be of service to each other. We try to go deep down into the personal lives of our members.

Do I appreciate the deep personal fellowship of AA?

Meditation for the Day
Love and fear cannot dwell together. By their very natures, they cannot exist side by side. Fear is a very strong force. And, therefore, a weak and vacillating love can soon be routed by fear. But a strong love, a love that trusts in God, is sure eventually to conquer fear. The only sure way to dispel fear is to have the love of God more and more in your heart and soul.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that love will drive out the fear in my life. I pray that my fear will flee before the power of the love of God.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 12, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017

Reflection for the Day
These days, if I go through an experience that is new and demanding, I can do so in a spirit of confidence and trust. Thanks to The Program and Twelve Steps, I've come to know that God is with me in all places and in all endeavors. His Spirit is in me as well as in the people around me. As a result, I feel comfortable even in new situations and at home even among strangers.

Will I continue to flow along and grow along with The Program, trusting in the power and love of God at work in me and in my life?

Today I Pray
May God's comfort be with me in all situations, familiar or new. May He rebuild the sagging bridge of my confidence. May I acknowledge God in me and in others around me. May that mutual identity in God help me communicate with people on a plane of honesty. If I can learn to trust God, I can learn to trust the ones who share this earth with me.

Today I Will Remember
God teaches me how to trust.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 12, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017

If our God, as we understand Him, is a personal God, then it is reasonable to assume that He is so close to us that He is residing in us. He is then part of us and we are part of Him. As we cannot have two different personalities at the same time, we can assume we are either worldly or Godlike, depending upon the characteristic that has dominance at the moment of any specific action.

We cannot expect this God in us to help us unless we are in accord with Him and are endeavoring to help ourselves; otherwise, we would be working contrary to ourselves.

Give the God in you a chance - He has given you a thousand.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 12, 2017 - Rise 'n shine for a gorgeous Tuesday with faith, hope, courage and gratitude


Monday, December 11, 2017

Dec. 11, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, Dec. 11, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

It is important that we plan for the future, imperative that we accept an outcome unplanned.
 -- Molly McDonald


We sometimes feel confused over how to live just one day at a time while making strategic plans for the future. It seems contradictory to try to do both. Yet that is what a healthy recovery means.

Goals help direct our attention. They give us needed focus. They give us enthusiasm for making the most of our recovery. But just as we need goals to strengthen our resolve to move forward, we need willingness to let God be involved in our effort and, even more important, in charge of the outcome. God's role and ours, though related, are in fact quite separate. In our rush to move forward we sometimes forget to turn over the reins when our part is done.

We are learning the joys of living one day at a time. We are letting God be responsible for the outcomes of our endeavors. Each day in recovery gives us more time to practice doing only what we need to do and leaving the rest in God's hands.

I must let God take charge of the outcomes of my efforts today. If I do, I will be cared for in the most loving fashion.
You are reading from the book:

A Woman's Spirit by Karen Casey. © 1994 by Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 11, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 
"For most normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colorful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good. But not so with us in those last days of heavy drinking. The old pleasures were gone. They were but memories. Never could we recapture the great moments of the past. There was an insistent yearning to enjoy life as we once did and a heartbreaking obsession that some new miracle of control would enable us to do it. There was always one more attempt - and one more failure." Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 11 ("A Vision for You"), p 151. 

Todaydrinking to deal with emotions and people I could not handle, I ask if I ever found "release from care, boredom and worry" or a "joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good?"  No, I didn't. Alcohol was never a social luxury for me. Instead, it was a way to oblivion so that I didn't have to deal with what I couldn't or didn't want to face. "...(T)he great moments of the past?" Mine overwhelmed any good ones. With that memory, then, why do I want to reclaim any moments of my drinking past? I don't. The program has given me the ammunition to deal with and face what I once could not. I don't need alcohol now, and I don't want it. In sobriety, I'm making better memories. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Dec. 11, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Dec. 11, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Doctors think of the AA fellowship as group therapy. This is a very narrow conception of the depth of the AA fellowship. Looking at it purely as a means of acquiring and holding sobriety, it is right as far as it goes. But it doesn't go far enough. Group therapy is directed toward the help that the individual receives from it. It is essentially selfish. It is using the companionship of other alcoholics only in order to stay sober ourselves. But this is only the beginning of real AA fellowship.

Do I deeply feel the true AA fellowship?

Meditation for the Day
Most of us have had to live through the dark part of our lives, the time of failure, the nighttime of our lives, when we were full of struggle and care, worry and remorse, when we felt deeply the tragedy of life. But with our daily surrender to a Higher Power, come a peace and joy that makes all things new. We can now take each day as a joyous sunrise-gift from God to use for Him and for other people. The night of the past is gone, this day is ours.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may take this day as a gift from God. I pray that I may thank God for this day and be glad in it.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 11, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, Dec. 11, 2017
Reflection for the Day
Before I came to The Program - in fact, before I knew of The Program's existence - I drifted from crisis to crisis. Occasionally, I tried to use my will to chart a new course; however, like a rudderless ship, I inevitably foundered once again on the rocks of my own despair. Today, in contrast, I receive guidance from my Higher Power. Sometimes, the only answer is a sense of peace of an assurance that all is well.

Even though there may be a time of waiting before I see results, or before any direct guidance comes, will I try to remain confident that things are working out in ways that will be for the greatest good of everyone concerned?

Today I Pray
May I not expect instant, verbal communication with my Higher Power, like directions on a stamped, self-addressed postcard. May I have patience, and listen and sense that God is present. May I accept my new feeling of radiant warmth and serenity as God's way of assuring me that I am, finally, making some good choices.

Today I Will Remember
Patience: God's message will come.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 11, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, Dec. 11, 2017

Every man is both human and divine, both good and evil, strong and weak, wise and foolish. The body, soul and mind are the battleground of our conflicting natures, and while these conflicts rage, we can have no peace.

It is only when we bring our conflicting emotions under control that victory over self is possible. We alcoholics have learned that we are unable to accomplish this without outside help. With that help, real peace is obtainable. No other way has worked for us.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 11, 2017 - Rise 'n shine for a marvelous Monday and great new week with hope, faith, courage and gratitude


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Dec. 10, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are.
 -- George Bernard Shaw


It's easy to let circumstances determine how we think and behave. While it's true that some events seem devastating, our relationship with a Higher Power can help us accept and even grow from experiences that seem impossible to cope with.

We all have known men and women who've handled grave upsets far more easily than we have. How did they do it? They have no magic. Rather, they may be more comfortable letting their Higher Power help them accept and understand unfortunate circumstances. Once we accept our anger or disappointment, we're free to move on to better feelings. We begin to realize we have choices in how we look at problems.

We are never given more than we can handle. We can develop acceptance of any circumstances, but our success in doing so comes mainly through our reliance on God to show us the way.

God will help me handle the uncontrollable events of today. Through acceptance, I can change my feelings at any moment - even right now.
You are reading from the book:

In God's Care by Karen Casey. © 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 10, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017 

Todayunderstand that gratitude and humility are not the same thing and why the difference is important to our recovery. We tend to think humility is gratitude for the good we have experienced in sobriety. But this is not humility; being thankful is gratitude. Humility is the surrender of our own will to the higher power of our individual understanding. And why is humility vital to our recovery? In genuinely seeking the will of our higher power and the ability to carry it out, we are abandoning the failed strategy of yesterday's drunks - doing it our way. Most of us have been there and done that and, for most of us, it didn't work. Today, we cannot express sincere gratitude and claim we are humble if we have not asked our higher power what He wants us to do and how to do it. With that expression, we loosen our grip on self-will run riot, and we have taken a step forward toward recovery. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Dec. 10, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Our drinking fellowship was a substitute one, for lack of something better. At the time, we did not realize what real fellowship could be. Drinking fellowship has a fatal fault. It is not based on a firm foundation. Most of it is on the surface. It is based mostly on the desire to use your companions for our own pleasure, and using others is a false foundation. Drinking fellowship has been praised in song and story. The "cup that cheers" has become famous as a means of companionship. But we realize that the higher centers of our brains are dulled by alcohol and such fellowship cannot be on the highest plane. It is at best only a substitute.

Do I see my drinking fellowship in its proper light?

Meditation for the Day
Set for yourself the task of growing daily more and more into the consciousness of a Higher Power. We must keep trying to improve our conscious contact with God. This is done by prayer, quiet times and communion. Often all you need to do is sit silent before God and let Him speak to you through your thought. Try to think God's thoughts after Him. When the guidance comes, you must not hesitate but go out and follow that guidance in your daily work, doing what you believe to be the right thing.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be still and know that God is with me. I pray that I may open my mind to the leading of the Divine Mind.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 10, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017

Reflection for the Day
Have I ever stopped to think that the impulse to "blow off steam" and say something unkind or even vicious will, if followed through, hurt me far more seriously than the person to whom the insult is directed? I must try constantly to quiet my mind before I act with impatience or hostility, for my mind can be - in that very real way - an enemy as great as any I've ever known.

Will I look before I leap, think before I speak - and try to avoid self-will to the greatest extent possible?

Today I Pray
May I remember that my blow-ups and explosions, when they are torrents of accusations or insults, hurt me just as much as the other person. May I try not to let my anger get to the blow-up stage, simply by recognizing it as I go along and stating it as a fact.

Today I Will Remember
Keep a loose lid on the teapot.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 10, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017

It is hard for us at times to understand the misfortunes that befall us when we are doing the very best we know how, to live right by both God and man.

It is only in times that try men's souls that the soul develops and grows stronger. Like a muscle, it develops with hard work.

If you would produce an exceptional rose, you must prune the brush of every budding branch so that all the strength goes into the single bloom. It's not what the bush would want, but it develops the perfection in the rose you desire.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 10, 2017 - Good morning to a serene Sunday with new faith, hope, gratitude and strength


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Dec. 9, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017
Today's thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
Optimism
What I think about surrounds me. What I allow to be entertained in my mind becomes a reality. If I think negatively, I will attract negativity in my life. On the other hand, if I concentrate on developing positive thoughts, I will attract positive people and events to my life. My potential will be increased.

I cannot control what thoughts come into my mind, but I can control my perception and reaction to them.
I pray that I may be filled with positive thoughts today; I deserve the resulting rewards.
You are reading from the book:

Help for Helpers © 1989 by Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 9, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017
"Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 5 ("How It Works"), p 64. 

Today, I cannot hear too often that my drinking "was but a symptom" of a deeper emotional and spiritual turmoil that plunged me into alcoholism. Accepting this truth, logic brings the companion truth that abstinence from drinking by itself will not bring me the serenity and better life that sobriety promises. Without confronting and taking on the "causes and conditions" of my alcoholism, I may be a relapse waiting to happen. This is why, for me, I have to move beyond abstinence alone and work the steps of the program, from the gut-wrenching honesty of the Fourth to offering amends to everyone my drinking hurt and the spiritual renewal promised me in Step 12 - and its command that I be in some form of service if for no other reason than to take my attention off myself and on the needs and plights of the alcoholic who still suffers. Today, simply not drinking is not enough by itself and I look to the steps to guide me to the promise of being sober and not just a dry drunk. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Dec. 9, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
The way of AA is the way of fellowship. We have read a good deal about fellowship and yet it is such an important part of the AA program that it seems we cannot think too much about it. Human beings were not meant to live alone. A hermit's life is not a normal or natural one. We all need to be by ourselves at times, but we cannot really live without the companionship of others. Our natures demand it. Our lives depend largely upon it. The fellowship of AA seems to us to be the best in the world.

Do I fully appreciate what the fellowship of AA means to me?

Meditation for the Day
We are all seeking something, but many do not know what they want in life. They are seeking something because they are restless and dissatisfied, without realizing that faith in God can give an objective and a purpose to their lives. Many of us are at least subconsciously seeking for a Power greater than ourselves because that would give a meaning to our existence. If you have found that Higher Power, you can be the means of leading others aright, by showing them that their search for a meaning to life will end when they find faith and trust in God as the answer.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that my soul will lose its restlessness by finding rest in God. I pray that I may find peace of mind in the thought of God and His purpose for my life.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 9, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017

Reflection for the Day
"Difficulties are God's errands, and when we are sent upon them, we should esteem it a proof of God's confidence." - Beecher

I've come to realize that my past troubles were really of my own making. Although I hardly thought so at the time, I was a primary example of what The Program calls "self-will run riot." Today, I'll accept my difficulties as signposts to growth, and as evidence of God's confidence in me.

Do I believe that God will never give me more than I can handle?

Today I Pray
May I believe strongly that God has confidence in me to handle my troubles, that the difficulties I must face are in direct proportion to my strength and ability to bear up and keep a cool head in a crisis. May I also understand that it is my faith in God which keeps me from crumbling.

Today I Will Remember
God has faith in me, because I have faith in God.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 9, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017

Remember when they used to tell us, "If you don't stop drinking, you'll go straight to Hell?" What a laugh that is - trying to tell us about Hell when we had been living in it for years! If we had told them about the Hell we knew, it would probably have scared them into drinking.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 9, 2017 - Good morning to super Saturday and a new day for gratitude, faith, hope and courage


Friday, December 8, 2017

Dec. 8, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Friday, Dec. 8, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

The cut worm forgives the plow.
--William Blake


Would anyone believe that rain abuses grass, or accuse roots, hungry for a better hold on life, of digging too far into earth's flesh? Look closely at the small world of busy life overturned in the garden each spring. No ant there curses another bug, and no worm curses itself. Though they can neither speak nor think, even small creatures know enough to accept their pain as a natural part of life.

Why, then, should we waste time blaming others, or ourselves, for the natural sensations of life?

In the process of new growth, can we expect no pain?
You are reading from the book:



Today's Gift © 1985, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation