Friday, April 28, 2017

April 28, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Friday, April 28, 2017
 
Today, no running from mistakes with a sense of failure or blaming someone. No recovery program perfection because no person will or can achieve it. Likewise, I cannot and must not impose that unreachable goal on myself - and others. AA's 10th Step says, in part, 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. Today, I am not mistake-proof and I cannot expect myself to be - nor can I expect anyone and anything else to be. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

April 28, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, April 28, 2017 
 
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, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Friday, April 28, 2017
 
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, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Friday, April 28, 2017
 
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

April 28, 2017 - Time to hit the floor for the Happy Dance Friday, folks


Thursday, April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Thursday, April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Today, character defects of frustration and impatience as they relate to relationships and communications. As a drinking alcoholic, frustration and impatience walked hand-in-hand when it came to dealing with others: frustration of impatience with 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 reformation in character and emotions is needed. If I overreact when people do not respond when and how I think they should, maybe I am the problem. Today, I 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., 2017

April 27, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, April 27, 2017
 
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, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Thursday, April 27, 2017 
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, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, April 27, 2017
 
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

April 27, 2017 - Let's get trippin' on what's gonna be a far-out Thursday


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April 26, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April 26, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
 
Today, wisdom to appreciate the power of the spoken word, the one spoken in anger, fear, frustration and sarcasm and which can inflict more damage than any destructive act of my drinking days. Let me understand that a single 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 that something can still be forever lost. I pray for guidance in the 12th Step to practice the program's principles in all my affairs, including not caving into the impulsiveness or anger of unleashing a word that is intended to hurt. Today, I 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., 2017

April 26, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 
 
AA Thought for the Day 
The AA program is one of submission, release and action. When we're drinking, we're submitting to a power greater than ourselves - liquor. Our own wills are no use against the power of liquor. One drink and we're sunk. In AA, we stop submitting to the power of liquor. Instead, we submit to a Power, also greater than ourselves, which we call God.

Have I submitted myself to that Higher Power?
Meditation for the Day 
Ceaseless activity is not God's plan for your life. Times of withdrawal for renewed strength are always necessary. Wait for the faintest tremor of fear and stop all work, everything, and rest before God until you are strong again. Deal in the same way with all tired feelings. Then you need rest of body and renewal of spirit-force. St. Paul said: "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." This does not mean that you are to do all things and then rely on God to find strength. It means that you are to do the things you believe God wants you to do and only then can you rely on His supply of power.


Prayer for the Day 
I pray that God's spirit may be my master always. I pray that I may learn how to rest and listen, as well as how to work. 
 
Hazelden Foundation

April 26, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Reflection for the Day
When I first came to The Program, I was stunned by the constant sound of laughter. I realized today that cheerfulness and merriment make for usefulness. Outsiders are sometimes shocked when we burst into laughter over a seemingly tragic experience out of the past. But why shouldn't we laugh? We have recovered, and have helped others to recover. What greater cause could there be for rejoicing than this?

Have I begun to regain my sense of humor?

Today I Pray
May God restore my sense of humor. May I appreciate the honest laughter that is the background music of our mutual rejoicing in our sobriety. May I laugh a lot, not the defensive ego-laugh which mocks another's weakness, not the wry laugh of the self-putdown, but the healthy laugh that keeps situations in perspective. May I never regard this kind of laughter as irreverent. I have learned, instead, that it is irreverent to take myself too seriously.

Today I Will Remember
A sense of humor is a sign of health.

Hazelden Foundation

April 26, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
 
Many of us came into AA either in middle life or beyond and feel that with our reasonable life expectancy, it is practically impossible to atone for our previous wrong actions. The thief at the Crucifixion probably thought the same thing but, by one single act, he brought the promise that "this day, thou shalt be with me in Paradise."


Hazelden Foundation

April 26, 2017 - Time to get groovin' with the Hump Day gig, folks


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 25, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 25, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Today, understand we cannot claim credit if someone we sponsor or to whom we have carried the message finds sobriety. Likewise, let us not feel that we have failed a sponsee or co-member who continue in active alcoholism. To claim credit for anyone else's sobriety or blame for their continued drinking fires our ego and, because of it, we break the commandment to be only a carrier of the message. Just as we cannot credit anyone for our sobriety other than the program or blame our drinking on someone or something other than ourselves, we cannot claim credit for another person's recovery. Today, let us remember that we are a messenger, not the message. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

April 25, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
I don't believe that AA works because I read it in a book or because I hear people say so. I believe it because I see people getting sober and staying sober. An actual demonstration is what convinces me. When I see the change in people, I can't help believing that AA works. We could listen to talk about AA all day and still not believe it, but when we see it work, we have to believe it. Seeing is believing.

Do I see AA work every day?

Meditation for the Day
Try saying: "God bless her (or him)" of anyone who is in disharmony with you. Also say it of those who are in trouble through their own fault. Say it, willing that showers of blessings may fall upon them. Let God do the blessing. Leave to God the necessary correcting or disciplining. You should only desire blessing for them. Leave God's work to God. Occupy yourself with the task that He gives you to do. God's blessing will also break down all your own difficulties and build up all your successes.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may use God's goodness so that it will be a blessing to others. I pray that I may accept God's blessing so that I will have harmony, beauty, joy and happiness.

Hazelden Foundation

April 25, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Reflection for the Day
I have much more to be grateful for than I realize. Too often, I don't remember to give thought to all the things in my life that I could enjoy and appreciate. Perhaps I don't take time for this important meditation because I'm too preoccupied with my own so-called woes. I allow my mind to overflow with grievances; the more I think about them, the more monumental they seem. Instead of surrendering to God and His goodness, I let myself be controlled by the negative thinking into which my thoughts are apt to stray unless I guide them firmly into brighter paths.

Do I try to cultivate an "attitude of gratitude?" 

Today I Pray
May God lead me away from my pile-up of negative thoughts, which make for detours in my path of personal growth. May I break the old poor-me habits of remembering the worst and expecting the most dire. May I turn my thoughts ahead to a whole new world out there. May I allow myself to envision the glory of God.

Today I Will Remember
Keep an attitude of gratitude.

Hazelden Foundation

April 25, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Man is a pretty smart duck, but after all these centuries of study, experimentation and reasoning, we still don't know what we are, where our life came from or what happens to it when we die. True, we have certain faiths and beliefs, but who can say with certainty and with personal knowledge exactly what the answer to the Great Enigma really is? 

We have unlocked many of the secrets of Nature, but we still don't know what we are, how we got here or where we will go when we leave. 

God still has many secrets. If man knew them all, there would be no incentive to know God better. 

Hazelden Foundation

April 25, 2017 - We're gonna make today awesome even if Tuesday is Son of Monday


Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, April 24, 2017

Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Passion

“This week, I went scuba diving,” a man told me. “Hadn’t done it for years. I forgot how much doing something I love, even for one afternoon, can change my entire outlook on life.”

It’s easy to tell ourselves we can’t have what we want and can’t do what we want. And sometimes, we can’t. But once in a while, even for an afternoon, it is helpful to treat yourself.

How long has it been since you did something you loved? Are you willing to be open to what excites and inspires you? If you can’t do what you love, can you find passion in what you are doing?

You are reading from the book:
52 Weeks of Conscious Contact © 2003 by Melody Beattie

April 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, April 24, 2017
 
Today, the link between consequences and responsibility - and an appreciation that I and I alone am responsible to the consequences of my behavior and choices, including drinking, and that excuses and justifications will not spare me either consequences or responsibility. The program's 12th Step suggests I "practice these principles in all (my) affairs" - to live by AA's principles and not weasel out of owning my feelings, actions and behavior and the consequences of each. If, for example, I slip or relapse, I cannot blame anything but myself because, in the end, I made the choice to drink. No one tied me down and poured it down my throat, and I and no one else will endure the physical and emotional consequences of my choice to drink. Today, I am mindful that all I say, do and feel will bear consequences and that I alone am responsible to those consequences. And if I want to avoid responsibility for consequences, the "out" is clear: don't do what I don't want to be responsible for. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

April 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, April 24, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
It's been proved that we alcoholics can't get sober by our willpower. We've failed again and again. Therefore, I believe there must be a Higher Power which helps me. I think of that power as the grace of God. And I pray to God every morning for the strength to stay sober today. I know that Power is there because it never fails to help me.

Do I believe that AA works through the grace of God?

Meditation for the Day
Once I am "born of the spirit," that is my life's breath. Within me is the life of life, so that I can never perish. The life that down the ages has kept God's children through peril, adversity and sorrow. I must try never to doubt or worry, but follow where the life of the spirit leads. How often, when little I know it, God goes before me to prepare the way, to soften a heart, or to overrule a resentment. As the life of the spirit grows, natural wants become less important.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that my life may become centered in God more than in self. I pray that my will may be directed towards doing His will.

Hazelden Foundation

April 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, April 24, 2017

Reflection for the Day
We come to know in The Program that there is no deeper satisfaction and no greater joy than in a Twelfth Step well done. To watch the eyes of men and women open with wonder as they move from darkness to light, to see their lives quickly fill with new purpose and meaning, and above all to watch them awaken to the presence of a loving God in their lives - these things are the substance of what we receive as we carry the message of The Program.

Am I learning through Twelfth Step experiences that gratitude should go forward, rather than backward?

Today I Pray
May my Twelfth Steps be as wholehearted and as convincing and as constructive as others' Twelfth-Stepping has been to me. May I realize that the might of The Program and its effectiveness for all of us come through "passing it on." When I guide someone else to sobriety, my own sobriety is underlined and reinforced. I humbly ask God's guidance before each Twelfth Step.

Today I Will Remember
To pass it on.

Hazelden Foundation

April 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, April 24, 2017

The reasoning of the practicing alcoholic is in such foul shape that he is apt to take any attitude on the drinking question and usually does.

It is unreasonable to expect them to view their own or anyone else's sobriety in a rational way. Naturally plain common sense is not possible in the midst of an alcoholic fog, but why - oh, why - do so many practicing alcoholics, including slipees, invariably persist in looking for the most insecure member of AA in their quest for a drinking partner?

If you are homesick for the gutter, go on back to it. But don't take anyone with you.

Hazelden Foundation