Friday, October 31, 2014

Seven hard truths for those who love the survivors of sexual abuse

The Good Men Project: Oct. 31, 2014 - To The Secondhanders: Those Who Love People Who've Survived Abuse -

Why Apple CEO Tim Cook's coming out as gay really is a big deal

Apple CEO Tim Cook
The Good Men Project: Oct. 31, 2014 - Why Tim Cook's Coming Out Is Actually Big News -

President of Family Research Council links LGBT rights to 'global warming depopulation conspiracy'

Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council
Gay Star News: Oct. 31, 2014 - Family Research Council warns gay rights are part of global warming depopulation conspiracy | Gay Star News

Jake Gyllenhaal wants you to feel disturbed after watching him in ‘Nightcrawler’

Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis Bloom, a sociopathic freelance TV news cameraman, in “Nightcrawler.” (Chuck Zlotnick/Open Road Films)
Washington Post: Oct. 31, 2014 - Jake Gyllenhaal wants you to feel disturbed after watching him in ‘Nightcrawler’ - The Washington Post

Oct. 31, 2014 - Today's Gift from Hazelden

The Serenity Prayer
Friday, Oct. 31, 2014
Today's thought from Hazelden is:

It's good for your heart

"I know I've got some emotions up, just brewing right beneath the surface," Jake said one day. "I'm edgy, irritable, and definitely not centered. But I don't want to look. I don't want to go into the emotions. I don't like feelings. Whenever I give into them, I end up feeling like a piece of cooked spaghetti for days."

Emotions can take a lot out of us. Feeling them, whether it's anger, fear, or sadness, can leave us exhausted and drained.

Not feeling our emotions, however, can keep us edgy, irritable, and off-balance. Not feeling our feelings for an extended time can drive us to acting out, whether that means overeating, obsessing, staying in bed and hiding from the world, or staring at the television every night until we pass out.

Be gentle with yourself. Don't force it. But don't run away from your feelings, either. You might feel like cooked spaghetti for a while, but what's really softening up is your heart.

God, help me face and feel any feelings.
From the book:
More Language of Letting © 2000 by Melody Beattie

Oct. 31, 2014 - After the Tears

The Serenity Prayer
After the Tears
Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

"I spend a great deal of time passing on what I learned to others who want and need it badly. I do it for four reasons:
1. Sense of duty.
2. It is a pleasure.
3. Because in so doing I am paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me.
4. Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance for myself against a possible slip." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "Personal Stories, Pioneers of AA", Ch 1 ("Doctor Bob's Nightmare"), pp 180-81.

Today, admitting that my motive to quit drinking was self-serving and hardly altruistic, I am required now to be responsible to my sobriety. That responsibility is no clearer in any other than the 12th Step, the one that gives us our marching orders to carry the message to people who need and want it. A dividend like sobriety that we have earned through blood, sweat and tears brings with it a responsibility, and we appreciate and treasure that dividend when we share it with someone else, and when it works as well for them. As a drinking alcoholic, I blamed my problems on anyone and anything but myself, and it overwhelmed me; now sober, so must I share it and, hopefully, sobriety will become even stronger than the attraction to alcohol. And our common journey continues. After the tears. - Chris M., 2014

Oct. 31, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

The Serenity Prayer
Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
I have more peace and contentment. Life has fallen into place. The pieces of the jigsaw puzzle have found their correct position. Life is whole, all of one piece. I am not cast hither and yon on every wind of circumstance or fancy. I am no longer a dry leaf cast up and away by the breeze. I have found my place of rest, my place where I belong. I am content. I do not vainly wish for things I cannot have. I have "the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference."

Have I found contentment in AA?

Meditation for the Day
In all of us there is an inner consciousness that tells of God, an inner voice that speaks to our hearts. It is a voice that speaks to us intimately, personally, in a time of quiet meditation. It is like a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. We can reach out into the darkness and figuratively touch the hand of God. As the Big Book puts it: "Deep down in every man, woman and child is the fundamental idea of God. We can find the Great Reality deep down within us. And when we find it, it changes our whole attitude toward life."

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may follow the leading of the inner voice. I pray that I may not turn a deaf ear to the urging of my conscience.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 31, 2014 - A Day at a Time

The Serenity Prayer
A Day at a Time
Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

Reflection for the Day
If I'm to continue growing in The Program, I must literally "get wise to myself." I must remember that for most of my life I've been terribly self-deceived. The sin of pride has been at the root of most of my self-deception, usually masquerading under the guise of some virtue. I must work continually to uncover pride in all its subtle forms, lest it stop me in my tracks and push me backward once again to the brink of disaster.

When it comes to pride, do I believe, in Emerson's words, that "it is impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself ...?"

Today I Pray
May I know that button-popping pride is inappropriate for me as a recovering addict. It hides my faults from me. It turns people off and gets in the way of my helping others. It halts my progress because it makes me think I've done enough self-searching and I'm "cured." I pray to my Higher Power that I may be realistic enough to accept my success in The Program without giving in to pride.

Today I Will Remember
Pride halts progress.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 31, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Serenity Prayer
The Eye Opener
Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

The Founders of AA acted wisely when they fixed it so there would be no Big Shots in our fellowship. We are not the best people in the world when it comes to bearing heavy responsibilities. It has proven to be poison to many a good man.

After all, it is not necessary for your fame to spread around the world - there are more drunks on your own street than you can help.

Hazelden Foundation

Thursday, October 30, 2014

LGBT activist and former Clinton adviser admits to assisting in suicide of eight men in '80s

David Mixner
Gay Star News: Oct. 8, 2014 - Veteran US gay activist David Mixner admits to assisting suicide of 8 men with AIDS in the 80’s | Gay Star News

Is suicide selfish? Maybe that's not the question!

The Good Men Project: Oct. 30, 2014 - Is Suicide Selfish? -

The isolation of depression: How to reach the ones you love?

The Good Men Project: Oct. 30, 2014 - The Isolation of Depression: How to Reach the Ones You Love? -

The conversion of a queer-basher

The Good Men Project: Oct. 30, 2014 - The Conversion of a Queer-Basher -

Fear and loneliness in boys and men: No, we're not invulnerable

The Good Men Project: Oct. 30, 2014 - Fear and Loneliness in Boys and Men -

Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out as gay in powerful Businessweek essay

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Huffington Post: Oct. 30, 2014 - Tim Cook Comes Out As Gay In Powerful Businessweek Essay

Oct. 30, 2014 - Today's Gift from Hazelden

The Serenity Prayer
Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014
Today's thought from Hazelden is:

You really need to take care of yourself because you won't be good for anyone else unless you take care of yourself.
 -- Harry Bartholomew


Do we merely assume we are taking good care of ourselves? It's perhaps a good idea to list all the ways we think this is true. Do we get enough exercise? What is enough, anyway? Are we eating the right foods and enough of them? How about rest? Do we take naps when needed, as well as get a good night's sleep? What about laughter? Some would say there's no better elixir than a good laugh. Of course, we have to be willing to laugh at ourselves, on occasion, to make the most of it.

Taking good care of ourselves is much more in our control than we might have imagined. We are able to laugh at will and to eat what's good for us. We are also very much in control of how we feel about the circumstances of our lives. Whether we think we have it good or bad has a great deal to do with the details of each day.

We're not much fun to be around if all we do is moan and whine. Neither response ever takes good care of us. And both of them hinder the day's experiences for our companions, too.

The best thing I can do for me today is smile at my life, my friends, my remaining dreams. I can show I care.
From the book:
Keepers of the Wisdom © 1996 by Karen Casey

Oct. 30, 2014 - After the Tears

The Serenity Prayer
After the Tears
Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

"Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks - drinking which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change, there is very little hope of his recovery." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "The Doctor's Opinion," pp xxvi-vii.

Today, if I cannot forget "the effect" of alcohol as I grew progressively drunker, let me never forget the morning after with its consequences, none of which I care to be responsible for anymore. If I can cling to what the morning-after costs were and that they were my "bottom," may they be potent enough to remove any desire to drink again because, should I drink again, there likely will be no stopping until another bottom hits - if I survive long enough. I abused that "firm resolution" not to drink again when I was hung over, or standing in front of a judge with my latest DUI or after I broke every promise I'd made to family and friends. A "firm resolution" is so easy then; it can be just as easy if I apply it to being sober - if I remember the consequence instead of "the effect." Today, I don't need or want to remember the effect; the consequences are enough. And our common journey continues. After the tears. - Chris M., 2014

Oct. 30, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

The Serenity Prayer
Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
I have real friends, where I had none before. My drinking companions could hardly be called my real friends though, when drunk, we seemed to have the closest kind of friendship. My idea of friendship has changed. Friends are no longer people whom I can use for my own pleasure or profit. Friends are now people who understand me and I them, whom I can help and who can help me to live a better life. I have learned not to hold back and wait for friends to come to me, but to go halfway and to be met halfway, openly and freely.
Does friendship have a new meaning for me now?

Meditation for the Day
There is a time for everything. We should learn to wait patiently until the right time comes. Easy does it. We waste our energies in trying to get things before we are ready to have them, before we have earned the right to receive them. A great lesson we have to learn is how to wait with patience. We can believe that all our life is a preparation for something better to come when we have earned the right to it. We can believe that God has a plan for our lives and that this plan will work out in the fullness of time.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may learn the lesson of waiting patiently. I pray that I may not expect things until I have earned the right to have them.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 30, 2014 - A Day at a Time

The Serenity Prayer
A Day at a Time
Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

Reflection for the Day
When I'm motivated by pride - by bondage of self - I become partly or even wholly blind to my liabilities and shortcomings. At that point, the last thing I need is comfort. Instead, I need an understanding friend in The Program - one who knows "where I'm at" - a friend who'll unhesitatingly chop a hole through the wall my ego has built so that the light of reason can once again shine through.

Do I take time to review my progress, to spot-check myself on a daily basis, and to promptly try to remedy my wrongs?

Today I Pray
God, I pray that the group - or just one friend - will be honest enough to see my slippery manifestations of pride and brave enough to tell me about them. My self-esteem was starved for so long, that with my first successes in The Program, it may swell to the gross proportions of self-satisfaction. May a view from outside myself give me a true picture of how I am handling the triumph of my sobriety - with humility or with pride.

Today I Will Remember
Self-esteem or self-satisfaction?

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 30, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Serenity Prayer
The Eye Opener
Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

Each and every one of us have what we have only by the Grace of God. Even if we acquired all our possessions through our own industry and intelligence, still you must admit that you gave yourself none of these attributes that made your acquisition possible.

These were not necessarily inherited traits, for geniuses have had morons for children. You have what you have because God so willed it, so use them as God would will it.

Hazelden Foundation

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pastors at religious liberty conference told to 'hold the line' on same-sex relationships

Christopher Yuan leads a prayer during the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission National Conference, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Southern Baptists organized the three-day event to strengthen the resolve of Christians preaching the increasingly unpopular view that gay relationships are sinful.
Associated Press: Oct. 29, 2014 - At religious liberty conference, pastors told to hold the line on gay relationships – LGBTQ Nation

When your partner is depressed: Five truths

The Good Men Project: Oct. 29, 2014 - When Your Partner is Depressed: 5 Truths -

Why 'Scandal' may be one of TV's most important shows for LGBT rights

The cast of ABC-TV's 'Scandal'
The Good Men Project: Oct. 29, 2014 - Why 'Scandal' Is One Of The Most Important Shows Ever For The Gay Rights Movement -

The cast of 'Queer as Folk' then and now

BuzzFeed LGBT: Oct. 29, 2014 - The Cast Of "Queer As Folk" Then And Now

Straight men may be more bisexual than commonly thought

Queerty: Oct. 29, 2014 - Straight Men Are A Lot More Bisexual Than You Might Think / Queerty

TV's 'How to Get Away with Murder' isn't shy about gay sex but its 'bottom shaming' does nothing for understanding

S
Jack Fahalee of 'How to Get Away With Murder'
late:
Oct. 29, 2014 - Why are How to Get Away With Murder’s gay sex scenes full of bottom shame?

Actor Sean Hayes engaged to music producer Scott Icenogle

Sean Hayes (l) and fiancee Scott Icenogle
Advocate.com: Oct. 29, 2014 - Sean Hayes Is Engaged to Scott Icenogle | Advocate.com

Oct. 29, 2014 - Today's Gift from Hazelden

The Serenity Prayer
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014
Today's thought from Hazelden is:

The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.
 -- Hada Bejar


Nothing is more attractive than sharing with others. No trait will be admired as much as generosity. There is no surer way to gain the respect of friends and neighbors than to show by what we give that we care about others.
We can give many things besides money, shelter, clothing, or food to those in need. We can give the rich person love and understanding that money can't buy. We can sympathize with those who are troubled, even though they appear wealthier than ourselves. We can share experience, strength, and hope with those who are ill or unhappy. We can even share our suffering with others who suffer, and hold up a light for them on the road to recovery.

What do I have to give today?
From the book:
Today's Gift © 1985, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 29, 2014 - After the Tears

The Serenity Prayer
After the Tears
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014

" ...(A) terrible thing happened. I ran out of people! Even my family didn't have much use for me. When they saw me coming, they locked up the silverware and everything else of value. I felt very lonely and hurt, because nobody understood me. I felt very sorry for myself and attempted suicide on many occasions, making sure there was always somebody within reaching distance to see that I didn't finish the job. Any time I tried to kill myself, I was either drunk or pilled up or both ..." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "They Lost Nearly All," Ch 4 ("Belle of the Bar"), pp 478-79.

Today: " I ran out of people, " ...nobody understood me," "I felt very sorry for myself." What once was my prescription for life now sounds pathetic. Perhaps I refused or couldn't understand anyone else because I was too self-absorbed; maybe I felt sorry for myself because I had nothing to give or even offer anyone else; and possibly I ran out of people because I drove them away with my expectations that they make me and my wants or needs their total focus. As we sober up, we recover; as we recover, we see what we allowed our addictions to do to us and, in the end, what it did made us pathetic souls. In sobriety, I have no use, no excuse, no need and don't want to be that pathetic creature who expects to be the focus of everyone else's attention and, when I'm not, lash out in self-righteous indignation. I may not be perfect even in sobriety, but I don't have to be and I'm grateful to say I'm not the pathetic self-seeker I once was. So it goes with progress in the Program. And our common journey continues. After the tears. - Chris M., 2014

Oct. 29, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

The Serenity Prayer
Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
My relationships with my children have greatly improved. Those children who saw me drunk and were ashamed, those children who turned away in fear and even loathing have seen me sober and like me, have turned to me in confidence and trust and have forgotten the past as best they could. They have given me a chance for companionship that I had completely missed. I am their father or their mother now. Not just "that person that Mom or Dad married and God knows why." I am a part of my home now.
Have I found something that I had lost?

Meditation for the Day
Our true measure of success in life is the measure of spiritual progress that we have revealed in our lives. Others should be able to see a demonstration of God's will in our lives. The measure of His will that those around us have seen worked out in our daily living is the measure of our true success. We can do our best to be a demonstration each day of the power of God in human lives, an example of the working out of the grace of God in the hearts of men and women.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may so live that others will see in me something of the working out of the will of God. I pray that my life may be a demonstration of what the grace of God can do.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 29, 2014 - A Day at a Time

The Serenity Prayer
A Day at a Time
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014

Reflection for the Day
Virtually all of us suffered the defect of pride when we sought help through The Program, the Twelve Steps and the fellowship of those who truly understood what we felt and where we had been. We learned about our shortcomings - and of pride in particular - and began to replace self-satisfaction with gratitude for the miracle of our recovery, gratitude for the privilege of working with others, and gratitude for God's gift - which enabled us to turn catastrophe into good fortune.

Have I begun to realize that "pride is to character like the attic to the house - the highest part, and generally the most empty ...?"

Today I Pray
God, please tell me if I am banging my shins on my own pride. Luckily for me, The Program has its own built-in check for flaws like this - the clear-eyed vision of the group, which sees in me what I sometimes cannot see myself. May I know that any kind of success has always gone straight to my head, and be watching for it as I begin to reconstruct my confidence."

Today I Will Remember
"Success" can be a setback.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 29, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Serenity Prayer
The Eye Opener
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014

We human beings are more miraculous than the ape organically. We do not even have some powers possessed by brute creation - for example, we cannot change color at will as can some reptiles. We can't change our physical make-up as the tadpole does when it becomes a frog, or a caterpillar when it changes into a butterfly.

Yet we are the miracle of all miracles, for we alone have a soul, which enables us to transcend this planet and commune with God himself.

Hazelden Foundation

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dolly Parton: Anti-gay Christians are 'sinners'

Dolly Parton
Gay Star News: Oct. 28, 2014 - Dolly Parton: Anti-gay Christians are 'sinners' | Gay Star News

Man charged in another Craigslist gay-related murder

Chad Marshall Wilcos, charged in Craigslist murder
Gay Star News: Oct. 28, 2014 - Man charged with 'vicious' murder of person who answered his Craigslist sex ad | Gay Star News

Christian right undermines marriage equality with religious supremacism

LGBTQ Nation: Oct. 28, 2014 - Commentary: Christian right undermines marriage equality with religious supremacism – LGBTQ Nation

'God Hates Fags' church files motion to defend gay marriage ban in Kansas

A scene from a picket by Westboro Baptist Church
LGBTQ Nation: Oct. 28, 2014 - Westboro Baptist Church seeks to defend Kansas same-sex marriage ban – LGBTQ Nation

Methodist Church reinstates pastor who was defrocked after officiating gay son's wedding

Rev. Frank Schaefer
Associated Press: Oct. 28, 2014 - Methodist pastor who officiated at gay son’s wedding to keep ordination – LGBTQ Nation

Oct. 28, 2014 - Today's Gift from Hazelden

The Serenity Prayer
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014
Today's thought from Hazelden is . . .
Reflection for the Day
So many of us suffer from despair. Yet we don't realize that despair is purely the absence of faith. As long as we're willing to turn to God for help in our difficulties, we cannot despair. When we're troubled and can't see a way out, it's only because we imagine that all solutions depend on us. The Program teaches us to let go of overwhelming problems and let God handle them for us. When I consciously surrender my will to God's will, do I see faith at work in my life?
Today I Pray
May I be free of despair and depression, those two "down D's" that are the result of feelings of helplessness. May I know that I am never without the help of God, that I am never helpless when God is with me. If I have faith, I need never be "helpless and hopeless."
Today I Will Remember 
Despair is the absence of faith.
From the book:
A Day at a Time © 1989 by Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 28, 2014 - After the Tears

The Serenity Prayer
After the Tears
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014

Today, if in sobriety I cling onto such all-consuming and self-destructive emotions like resentment, anger, grief or bitterness and will not or cannot yet free myself of them, today, I at least will not take on any more feelings that I cannot handle. Recovery is partly about getting rid of the garbage and self-defeatism that I acquired before and during my drinking days; it is not about acquiring more of the same. In refusing to take on any more, I at least will have something less to work through and, in fact, might be able to take on what exists one thing at a time. Today, my recovery will focus on getting rid of what needs to be gone and not on collecting more of what I do not need. All I need remember is to "Let Go and Let God," and not take back that which I let go. And our common journey continues. After the tears. - Chris M., 2014

Oct. 28, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

The Serenity Prayer
Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
What other rewards have come to me as a result of my new way of living? Each one of us can answer this question in many ways. My relationship with my husband or my wife is on an entirely new plane. The total selfishness is gone and more cooperation has taken its place. My home is a home again. Understanding has taken the place of misunderstanding, recriminations, bickering and resentment. A new companionship has developed which bodes well for the future. "There are homes where fires burn and there is bread, lamps are lit and prayers are said. Though people falter through the dark and nations grope, with God Himself back of these little homes, we still can hope."

Have I come home?

Meditation for the Day
We can bow to God's will in anticipation of the thing happening which will, in the long run, be the best for all concerned. It may not always seem the best thing at the present time, but we cannot see as far ahead as God can. We do not know how His plans are laid, we only need to believe that if we trust Him and accept whatever happens as His will in a spirit of faith, everything will work out for the best in the end.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not ask to see the distant scene. I pray that one step may be enough for me.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 28, 2014 - A Day at a Time

The Serenity Prayer
A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014

Reflection for the Day
"Pride, like a magnet, constantly points to one object, self; unlike the magnet, it has no attractive pole, but at all points repels." - Colton

When the earliest members of The Program discovered just how spiritually prideful they could be, they admonished one another to avoid "instant sainthood." That old-time warning could be taken as an alibi to excuse us from doing our best, but it's really The Program's way of warning against "prideful blindness" and the imaginary perfections we don't possess.

Am I beginning to understand the difference between pride and humility?

Today I Pray
May God, who in His mercy has saved our lives, keep us from setting ourselves up as the saints and prophets of The Program. May we recognize the value of our experiences for others without getting smug about it. May we remember with humility and love the thousands of other "old hands" who are equally well-versed in its principles.

Today I Will Remember
I will avoid "instant sainthood."

Hazelden Foundation