Saturday, March 25, 2017

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

Saturday, March 25, 2017

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

Step by Step
Saturday, March 25, 2017
 
Todayfocus on compulsiveness so as not to react to anyone or anything with the heightened emotions that nurtured the defects of my character. From a behavioral standpoint, we alcoholics drank with compulsion. As such, my alcoholism is both physical and behavioral. To get the discipline to prevent compulsion from gaining an upper hand in all my affairs, I can work Step Three as I begin this day by handing over to my Higher Power my will and ask instead for His will. Today, as I set out, I surrender my will - or self-will run riot - to my Higher Power with faith that He will strengthen me to act accordingly and responsibly instead out of the compulsion that contributed to my spiritual and mental disease. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, March 25, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
Strength comes from coming to believe in a Higher Power that can help you. You can't define this Higher Power, but you can see how it helps other alcoholics. You hear them talk about it and you begin to get the idea yourself. You try praying in a quiet time each morning and you begin to feel stronger, as though your prayers were heard. So you gradually come to believe there must be a Power in the world outside yourself, which is stronger than you and to which you can turn for help.

Am I receiving strength from my faith in a Higher Power?

Meditation for the Day
Spiritual development is achieved by daily persistence in living the way you believe God wants you to live. Like the wearing away of a stone by steady drops of water, so will your daily persistence wear away all the difficulties and gain spiritual success for you. Never falter in this daily, steady persistence. Go forward boldly and unafraid. God will help and strengthen you, as long as you are trying to do His will.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may persist day by day in gaining spiritual experience. I pray that I may make this a lifetime work.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Saturday, March 25, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
If a chemically-dependent person wants to live successfully in society, he or she must replace the power of chemicals over his/her life with the power of something else - preferably positive, at least neutral, but not negative. That is why we say to the agnostic newcomer: If you can't believe in God, find a positive power that is as great as the power of your addiction, and give it the power and dependence you gave to your addiction. In The Program, the agnostic is left free to find his or her Higher Power, and can use the principles of The Program and the therapy of the meetings to aid in rebuilding his/her life.

Do I go out of my way to work with newcomers?

Today I Pray
May the Power of The Program work its miracles equally for those who believe in a personal God or in a Universal Spirit or in the strength of the group itself, or for those who define their Higher Power in their own terms, religious or not. If newcomers are disturbed by the religiosity of The Program, may I welcome them on their own spiritual terms. May I recognize that we are all spiritual beings.

Today I Will Remember
To each his own spirituality.

Hazelden Foundation

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

The Eye Opener
Saturday, March 25, 2017
 
No man with certainty can see beyond this instant. Yesterday we had a friend, hale, hearty and bubbling over with energy and ambition. Today we write a letter of condolence to his widow. No one knows the day or the hour, but this we do know - we are alive right now, people are suffering right now, we can help them right now.

Hazelden Foundation

March 25, 2017 - Let's make the most of this beautiful Saturday and weekend!


Friday, March 24, 2017

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

Friday, March 24, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

There are many ways of breaking a heart. Stories were full of hearts broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream - whatever that dream might be.
 -- Pearl S. Buck


No new door is opened without the inner urge for growth. Dreams guide us, encourage us, stretch us to new heights - and leave us momentarily empty when they are dashed.

Recovery has given us resilience and a multitude of reasons for living. We have come to understand that when one dream serves us no longer, it is making way for an even better one. Our dreams are our teachers. When the student is ready, a new one comes into focus.

Dreams in our earlier years often came to naught. They couldn't compete for our attention as effectively as the self-pity. The direction they offered was lost. Each day that we look forward with positive anticipation, we put the wreckage of the past farther from our minds.

Our dreams are like the rest areas on a cross-country trip. They refresh us, help us to gauge the distance we've come, and give us a chance to consider our destination.

Today's dreams and experiences are points on the road map of my life. I won't let them pass unnoticed.
You are reading from the book:
Each Day a New Beginning by Karen Casey. © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

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

Step by Step
Friday, March 24, 2017
 
Today, no looking beyond the current 24 Hours about the length of my sobriety, be it one day, one week, one month, one year, one decade or longer. Alcoholism is chronic and incurable but can be in arrested by abstinence, and all the 24 Hours of clean time we accrue are gone if we buy into the myth that we can get away with "just one." And "just one" sets in motion the basis for relapse. Even if we have racked up a significant number of 24 Hours and we "slip," we are no more sober than the alcoholic who woke up this morning with a hangover. Remember the yesterdays when we awoke to the harsh reality that the 24 Hours we had before are gone, and know that our yesterdays are the best predictor of our todays and tomorrows - and learn from yesterday to avoid repeating its mistakes. Keep the ego in check - the other alcoholic who woke up hung over yesterday but is sober this morning is no less clean than we. Today, when it comes to being and staying sober, take it literally just for today. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, March 24, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
Strength comes from honestly telling your own experiences with drinking. In religion, they call it confession. We call it witnessing or sharing. You give a personal witness, you share your past experiences, the troubles you got into, the hospitals, the jails, the break-up of your home, the money wasted, the debts and all the foolish things you did when you were drinking. This personal witness lets out the things you had kept hidden, brings them out into the open, and you find release and strength.

Am I receiving strength from my personal witnessing?

Meditation for the Day
We cannot fully understand the universe. The simple fact is that we cannot even define space or time. They are both boundless, in spite of all we can do to limit them. We live in a box of space and time which we have manufactured by our own minds and on that depends all our so-called knowledge of the universe. The simple fact is that we can never know all things, nor are we made to know them. Much of our lives must be taken on faith.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that my faith may be based on my own experience of the power of God in my life. I pray that I may know this one thing above all else in the universe.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Friday, March 24, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
All of us are faced with the troubles and problems of daily living, whether we've been in The Program two days or 20 years. We'd sometimes like to believe we could take care of all our problems right now, but it rarely works that way. If we remember the slogan "Easy Does It" when we are ready to panic, we may come to know that the very best way to handle all things is "Easy." We put one foot in front of the other, doing the best we are capable of doing. We say, "Easy Does It," and we do it.

Are The Program's slogans growing with me as I grow with The Program?

Today I Pray
May even the words "Easy Does It" serve to slow me down in my headlong rush to accomplish too much too fast. May just the word "Easy" be enough to make me ease up on the whips that drive my ambitions, ease up on the accelerator which plunges me into new situations without enough forethought, ease off the number of hours spent in material pursuits. May I hark to the adage that Rome wasn't built in a single day. Neither can I build solutions to my problems all at once.

Today I Will Remember
Easy Does It.

Hazelden Foundation

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

The Eye Opener
Friday, March 24, 2017
 
Life is not a succession of days on earth, but rather it is an accumulation of experiences. Days are simply time locations where experiences transpired. The day on which no event occurred is a day lost out of life, for it had nothing in it to justify its memory.

Hazelden Foundation

March 24, 2017 - Good morning to the long-overdue Happy Dance Friday!


Thursday, March 23, 2017

March 23, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Thursday, March 23, 2017

March 23, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, March 23, 2017
 
Today, nothing negative to pervert my words, thoughts and behavior. Instead, I set out today grateful that I am sober and able to do what I have to do, even if it's something I don't want to do. I will be grateful that I am now able to function, unlike all those days that started with a hangover, shakes and the physical and cognitive inability to do even the basics. I will not complain if I have too much to do and too little time to do it, but instead will approach each task, each person, each amend, each moral checkup with a positive attitude - because today I am sober. With that, I have no reason to be negative. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

March 23, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, March 23, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
Strength comes from the fellowship you find when you come into AA. Just being with men and women who have found the way out gives you a feeling of security. You listen to the speakers, you talk with other members, and you absorb the atmosphere of confidence and hope that you find in the place.

Am I receiving strength from the fellowship with other AA members?

Meditation for the Day
God is with you, to bless and help you. His spirit is all around you. Waver not in your faith or in your prayers. All power is the Lord's. Say that to yourself often and steadily. Say it until your heart sings with joy for the safety and personal power that it means to you. Say it until the very force of the utterance drives back and puts to naught all the evils against you. Use it as a battle cry. All power is the Lord's. Then you will pass on to victory over all your sins and temptations, and you will begin to live a victorious life.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that with strength from God I may lead an abundant life. I pray that I may lead a life of victory.

Hazelden Foundation

March 23, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Thursday, March 23, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
The Program teaches us, through the experience, strength and hope of its fellowship, that the worst situation imaginable does not warrant a return to our addiction. No matter how bad a particular situation or set of circumstances, the return to our old ways for even a minute will assuredly make it worse.

Am I grateful for the sharing and caring of The Program?

Today I Pray
May I insist that no stone can be heavy enough to drag me back down into the pool of my addiction. No burden, no disappointment, no blow to pride or loss of human love is worth the price of returning to my old way of life. When I harbor thoughts that life is "too much" for me, that no one should be expected to "take so much and still remain sane" or that I am "the fall guy," let me listen for the tone of my complaints and remember that I have heard that whine before - before I concluded that I was powerless over the chemical and gave my will over to the Will of God. Such wailing sets me up for getting high again. May God keep my ears alert to the tone of my own complaining.

Today I Will Remember
Hear my own complaints.

Hazelden Foundation

March 23, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, March 23, 2017
 
To us alcoholics who were prone to give meaning to words that were not intended by the speaker, words are a particularly lethal weapon.

In our drinking days, we invariably put the wrong interpretations on the best-intended words of our friends. We then sounded off with a flow of words that we did not mean and knew full well that we did not mean them. The thoughtless sentence or the fancied slight was forever coming between us and those we loved.

The world's attitude toward us, either friendly or hostile, is largely determined by our own words.

Hazelden Foundation

March 23, 2017 - Time to kick this beautiful new Thursday into gear


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March 22, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March 22, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
 
Today, put into practice living sober and and not as an alcoholic struggling not to drink. There is more to life than living with a daily struggle not to drink. But before I can apply my program and recovery to every realm of my life, I have to make sure I'm walking the walk and not just talking the talk. I have to be honest that I have begun at the very beginning, with the program's first four words -  "Admitted (I am) powerless ..."  - and that I have "come to believe" in something greater than myself, that I have done the steps thoroughly and honestly, and that I am truly an effective carrier of the message. Memorizing every word in the Big Book, burning in my mind every word of the 12 steps and traditions and of every 24-hour inspirational achieve nothing if I don't put action to them. Today, if I am only in the program, I'll get with it. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

March 22, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
We're all looking for the power to overcome drinking. When we alcoholics come into AA, our first question is: "How do I get the strength to quit?" At first it seems to us that we will never get the necessary strength. We see older members who have found the power we are looking for, but we don't know the process by which they got it. This necessary strength comes in many ways.

Have I found all the strength I need?

Meditation for the Day
You cannot have a spiritual need which God cannot supply. Your fundamental need is a spiritual need, the need of power to live the good life. The best spiritual supply is received by you when you want it to pass on to other people. You get it largely by giving it away. God gives you strength as you pass it on to another person. That strength means increased health; increased health means more good work, and more good work means more people helped. And so it goes on, a constant supply to meet all spiritual needs.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that my every spiritual need will be supplied by God. I pray that I may use the power I receive to help others.

Hazelden Foundation

March 22, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
Once in a great while, I find myself thinking that perhaps things weren't quite so bad as they seemed to be. At such moments, I force myself to realize that my illness is talking to me, trying to tempt me into denying that I am, in fact, afflicted with an illness. One of the Key action steps of The Program is that we give our illness to God as we understand Him, accepting our powerlessness in the face of His greater Power.

Do I believe that the grace of God can do for me what I could never do for myself?

Today I Pray
May I know that much of our lives depends on faith. For we cannot know the limits of space and time - or explain the mysteries of life and death. But when we see God working through us - and through others who have found new life in The Program - it is all the evidence we need to know that He exists.

Today I Will Remember
The Big Wheel runs by faith.

Hazelden Foundation

March 22, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
 
We cannot give the new man our conception of the Program and expect him to get the same results as we. This is particularly true of the spiritual phases of our thinking. We must each seek and find our own solution, but we can tell him how we did it; we can direct his thinking along spiritual lines so that he, too, will find a God of his understanding and work out a system of procedure that will make the Program work for him.

Hazelden Foundation

March 22, 2017 - Good morning to a gorgeous Hump day Wednesday


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
 
Today, the Seventh Step and asking a Higher Power, in willingness and humility, for the knowledge to let go of our character defects, chief among them anger and resentment. But Step Six warns that we must be "entirely ready" to release those defects. So how do I become "entirely ready?"  If we find ourselves obsessed with anger or resentment against someone or something, even justifiably - if anger and resentment can be justified - and we play out in our mind a scenario of "revenge," we are thwarting a potential higher quality of sobriety than we might otherwise have. And, if for no other reason, we empower the person or situation that we resent to the extent that they actually control us. Then it's time to let go of the anger and resentment and leave to a Higher Power whoever or whatever angers me us. Today, entirely ready, ask a Higher Power to take the emotions we cannot handle and for the discipline not to take them back. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

March 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
In AA, we forget about the future. We know from experience that as time goes on, the future takes care of itself. Everything works out well, as long as we stay sober. All we need to think about is today. When we get up in the morning and see the sun shining in the window, we thank God that He has given us another day to enjoy because we're sober, a day in which we may have a chance to help somebody.

Do I know that this day is all I have and that with God's help I can stay sober today?

Meditation for the Day
All is fundamentally well. That does not mean that all is well on the surface of things. But it does mean that God's in His heaven and that He has a purpose for the world, which will eventually work out when enough human beings are willing to follow His way. "Wearing the world as a loose garment" means not being upset by the surface wrongness of things, but feeling deeply secure in the fundamental goodness and purpose in the universe.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that God may be with me in my journey through the world. I pray that I may know that God is planning that journey.

Hazelden Foundation

March 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

 
Reflection for the Day
The Program teaches us that we have an incurable illness. We always get worse, never better. But we're fortunate in that our incurable illness can be arrested, so long as we don't take the first drink one day at a time. High-toned academic research and ivory-tower studies to the contrary, we know from experience that we can no more control our drinking than we can control the ocean tides.

Do I have any doubt that I am powerless over alcohol?

Today I Pray
May I never fall prey to any short-term research results which tell me that alcoholism can be cured, that I would be safe to begin drinking again, supposedly, in a responsible manner. My experience - the experience of those in The Program - will out-shout such theories. May I know that my disease is arrestable, but not curable. May I know that if I took up my active addiction again, I would begin where I left off - closer than ever to possible death or insanity.

Today I Will Remember
Be wary of new theories.

Hazelden Foundation

March 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
 
Jobs are as good or as bad as the mental attitude we have toward them. No man holds a job but what some other man is envious of him on its account, and every job has its good and bad points.

Too often we hear the excuse that the job was the cause of the drinking, when most frequently it was the drinking that made the job obnoxious.

One man swinging a pick is digging a hole in the ground, and his fellow workman beside him is doing his part in the erection of a Temple.

Maybe it's not the job at fault; maybe it's your attitude toward it.

Hazelden Foundation

March 21, 2017 - Rise 'n shine for a great Tuesday and first full day of Spring


Monday, March 20, 2017

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

Monday, March 20, 2017

March 20, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, March 20, 2017
 
Today, work for balance, the balance that is the point of compromise between doing nothing at all and over-doing everything. Alcoholics are creatures of extremes. We drank ourselves into oblivious and although it was always too much, it was never enough. We either hated or "loved" to possessiveness. We took until there was nothing left to take, or we gave till there was nothing left to give. We laughed after the joke had ended, and we cried out every emotion. In seeking balance, defer to a Higher Power to show us what we have to do without procrastinating, and listen if our Higher Power tells us that we are hungry, angry, lonely or tired - HALT. Also accept that we cannot shrug off the program if, today, we say that we are not "getting it." Adversely, accept that the full benefits of the program will not be ours today - or any other day - because the program is growth, and growth is an evolutionary process and never fully accomplished. Today, balance the scales. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, March 20, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
When we were drinking, we used to worry about the future. Worry is terrible mental punishment. What's going to become of me? Where will I end up? In the gutter or the sanitarium? We can see ourselves slipping, getting worse and worse, and we wonder what the finish will be. Sometimes we get so discouraged in thinking about the future that we toy with the idea of suicide.

In AA, have I stopped worrying about the future?

Meditation for the Day
Functioning on a material plane alone takes me away from God. I must also try to function on a spiritual plane. Functioning on a spiritual plane as well as on a material plane will make life what it should be. All material activities are valueless in themselves alone. But all activities, seemingly trivial or of seemingly great moment, are all alike if directed by God's guidance. I must try to obey God as I would expect a faithful, willing servant to carry out directions.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that the flow of God's spirit may come to me through many channels. I pray that I may function on a spiritual plane as well as on a material plane.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Monday, March 20, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
The longer I'm in The Program, the more important becomes the slogan "First Things First." I used to believe that my family came first, that my home life came first, that my job came first. But I know today, in the depths of my heart, that if I can't stay sober, I'll have nothing. "First Things First," to me, means that everything in my life depends on my sobriety.

Am I grateful to be sober today?

Today I Pray
May my first priority, the topmost item on my list of concerns, be my sobriety - maintaining it, learning to live comfortably with it, sharing the tools by which I maintain it. When other things crowd into my life and I am caught up in the busyness of living, may I still preserve that first-of-all goal - remaining free of chemicals.

Today I Will Remember
First Things First.

Hazelden Foundation