Friday, July 31, 2015

July 31, 2015 - Dear straight men: Come out already!

Huffington Post: July 31, 2015 - Dear Straight Men, Come Out Already | Mason Hsieh

July 31, 2015 - In a word, what it means to be gay

Huffington Post: July 31, 2015 - In a Word, What It Means to Be Gay | Raina Bowe

July 29, 2015 - Stabbings at pride parade in Israel move lawmaker to come out as gay

Gay Star News: July 31, 2015 - Israeli lawmaker comes out after six people are stabbed at Pride | Gay Star News

July 31, 2015 - Indiana convention’s CEO calls for broader LGBT protections

Associated Press: July 31, 2015 - Indiana convention’s CEO calls for broader LGBT protections – LGBTQ Nation

July 31, 2015 - Obama unveils new national HIV/AIDS initiative through 2020

Gay RVA: July 31, 2015 - WATCH: Obama announces new national HIV/AIDS Strategy through 2020 – LGBTQ Nation

July 31, 2015 - Film review: 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'

The Good Men Project: July 31, 2015 - A Blast From The Past - Movie Review "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." -

July 31, 2015 - Seven things to remember when recovering from an eating disorder

The Good Men Project: July 31, 2015 - 7 Things to Remember During Eating Disorder Recovery -

July 31, 2015 - Ultra-Orthodox Israeli stabs six at gay pride parade for second time, police say

New York Times: July 31, 2015 - Ultra-Orthodox Israeli Stabs 6 at a Gay Pride Parade for Second Time, Police Say - The New York Times

July 31, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden

Friday, July 31, 2015
Today's thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

I ask that You might help me work through all my problems, to Your Glory and Honor.
 -- Alcoholics Anonymous


Many of us lived in situations where it wasn't okay to identify, have, or talk about problems. Denial became a way of life - our way of dealing with problems.

In recovery, many of us still fear problems. We may spend more time reacting to a problem than we do to solving it. We miss the point; we miss the lesson; we miss the gift. Problems are a part of life. So are solutions.

In recovery, we learn to focus on solving our problems. First, we make certain the problem is our problem. If it isn't, our problem is establishing boundaries. Then we seek the best solution. This may mean setting a goal, asking for help, gathering more information, taking an action, or letting go.

Face and solve today's problems. Don't worry needlessly about tomorrow's problems, because when they appear, we'll have the resources necessary to solve them.

God, help me face and solve my problems today. Help me do my part and let the rest go. I can learn to be a problem-solver.
You are reading from the book:
The Language of Letting Go © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation

July 31, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Friday, July 31, 2015
 
"The old (drinking) pattern reasserted itself, but it was no longer once every six months. The intervals grew shorter. The binges were longer. They were harder to get off. ...
"That type of drinking is not pleasant. It is no longer enjoyable. You no longer get the kicks. It is desperation drinking. I was drinking to keep away the shakes ...I was drinking to try to hold on to a job, to try and hold on to my home, to try to hold on to my wife, to try to hold on to my sanity." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part III ("They Lost Nearly All"), Ch 8 ("Desperation Drinking"), p 514.

Today, honesty to accept the possibility that I have a problem if drinking is my answer to any desperation I feel, be it for a situation I desperately want not to face, or the talk with my spouse, partner or employer, the constantly ringing telephone that I will not answer because someone might be calling about my drinking or some problem it has caused. If drinking is my solution to any problem in my life, let me hear the voices of experience that my solution has become a crisis bigger than the problem I'm avoiding. And if I have not drank for any significant number of 24 Hours, chances are I now cannot remember the problem I drank to avoid. But, in so doing, I and I alone created one of the most critical crises that was far worse than any problem I faced sober. Today, alcohol will not be my solution to any problem that I may encounter; my answer is in the Twelve Steps. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2015

July 31, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, July 31, 2015
 
AA Thought for the Day
This leaves only one day - today. Anyone can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burden of those two awful eternities, yesterday and tomorrow, that we break down. It is not the experience of today that drives us mad. It is the remorse or bitterness for something which happened yesterday or the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us therefore do our best to live but one day at a time.

Am I living one day at a time?

Meditation for the Day
Give God the gift of a thankful heart. Try to see causes of thankfulness in your everyday life. When life seems hard and troubles crowd, then look for some reasons for thankfulness. There is nearly always something you can be thankful for. The offering of thanksgiving is indeed a sweet incense going up to God throughout a busy day. Seek diligently for something to be glad and thankful about. You will acquire in time the habit of blessings. Each new day some new cause for joy and gratitude will spring to your mind and you will thank God sincerely.

Prayer for the Day
I pray for a truly thankful heart. I pray that I may be constantly reminded of causes for sincere gratitude.

Hazelden Foundation

July 31, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Friday, July 31, 2015
 
Reflection for the Day
One of the most serious consequences of the me-me-me syndrome is that we lose touch with practically everyone around us - not to mention reality itself. The essence of self-pity is total self-absorption, and it feeds on itself. Rather than ignore such an emotional state - or deny that we're in it - we need to pull out of our self-absorption, stand back, and take a good honest look at ourselves. Once we recognize self-pity for what it is, we can begin to do something about it.

Am I living in the problem rather than the answer?

Today I Pray
I pray that my preoccupation with self, which is wound up tight as a Maypole, may unwind itself and let its streamers fly again for others to catch and hold. May the thin, familiar wail of me-me-me become a chorus of us-us-us, as we in the fellowship pick apart our self-fullness and look at it together.

Today I Will Remember
Change me-me-me to us-us-us.

Hazelden Foundation

July 31, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Friday, July 31, 2015
 
In our drinking days, we were ready to take a poke at anyone who suggested we couldn't handle our "likker." It was a very sore spot with us, as we all kidded ourselves into believing that our over-indulgence was a well-guarded secret when, actually, we knew it was not.

Upon our entrance in AA, we soon made a public confession of our alcoholism and, to our surprise, we lost some of the sense of stigma and we could learn to laugh at our affliction and at ourselves. Our sense of guilt was lessened by our acknowledgment of its existence.

Hazelden Foundation

July 31, 2015 - Rise 'n shine & get the Happy Dance Friday moving, folks!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

July 30, 2015 - Au revoir, Luke Spencer: How 'General Hospital' will miss thee

Washington Post: July 30, 2015 - Lonnae O’Neal: Farewell, Luke Spencer. Confessions of a soap addict. - The Washington Post

July 30, 2015 - Uncle's death moves gay runner to call for LGBT group within NCAA

Outsports: July 30, 2015 - Uncle's death motivates gay college athlete to create change - Outsports

July 30, 2015 - Minister in video gone viral not a gay rights champion after all

Advocate: July 30, 2015 - Minister From Viral Video Is Not a Gay Rights Champion After All | Advocate.com

July 30, 2015 - A Tennessee minister's apparently declaration of war on the LGBT front

Advocate: July 30, 2015 - Minister to LGBT People: Thanks for Making Me More Antigay | Advocate.com

July 30, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden

The Serenity Prayer
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Today's thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

What would it be like if you lived each day, each breath, as a work of art in progress? Imagine that you are a masterpiece unfolding, every second of every day, a work of art taking form with every breath.
 -- Thomas Crum


So many of us avoid living in the present moment. We worry about the future.

Daydreaming and pondering are necessary in moderation, but we try to stay in the present moment for most of the day. To do this, we return to the most basic element - our breath. We concentrate on taking deep breaths. Barring a respiratory disorder, breathing is simple. When we return to the simplicity of breathing, we automatically simplify our life by focusing only on what's happening to one part of our body in one moment in time.

Today, when I have trouble living in the present, I will concentrate on my breathing.
You are reading from the book:
Letting Go of Debt © 2000 by Hazelden Foundation

July 30, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

The Serenity Prayer
Step by Step
Thursday, July 30, 2015
  
Today, I realize that the character defects identified in my Fourth Step probably existed before my drinking days and that alcohol simply developed them to their destructive zenith. My Sixth and Seventh Steps of first admitting to God and then asking that He remove my defects assume paramount honesty in my recovery because I am likely to be challenged to release defects that have had a lifetime to take root - more so than those that those that were born of my drinking days. And if my defects are lifelong, simply stopping to drink will not give me the recovery and quality of sobriety for which I strive. Today, I am an alcoholic, and abstaining from drinking is not enough. I consider myself a part of the AA program; today, as I talk the talk, I will walk the walk. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2015

July 30, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, July 30, 2015
 
AA Thought for the Day
The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow, with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise, and perhaps its poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow's sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is as yet unborn.

Do I still worry too much about tomorrow?

Meditation for the Day
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith is not seeing, but believing. Down through the ages, there have always been those who obeyed the heavenly vision, not seeing but believing in God. And their faith was rewarded. So shall it be to you. Good things will happen to you. You cannot see God, but you can see the results of faith in human lives, changing them from defeat to victory. God's grace is available to all who have faith - not seeing, but believing. With faith, life can be victorious and happy.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may have faith enough to believe without seeing. I pray that I may be content with the results of my faith.

Hazelden Foundation

July 30, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

The Serenity Prayer
A Day at a Time
Thursday, July 30, 2015
 
Reflection for the Day
When we first come to The Program, the most common variety of self-pity begins: "Poor me! Why can't I (fill in your own addiction) like everybody else? Why me?" Such bemoaning, if allowed to persist, is a surefire invitation for a long walk off a short pier - right back to the mess we were in before we came to The Program. When we stick around The Program for a while, we discover that it's not just "me" at all; we become involved with people, from all walks of life, who are in exactly the same boat.

Am I losing interest in my comfortably familiar "pity pot?"

Today I Pray
When self-pity has me droopy and inert, may I look up, look around and perk up. Self-pity, God wills, vanishes in the light of other people's shared troubles. May I always wish for friends honest enough to confront me if they see me digging my way back down into my old pity pit.

Today I Will Remember
Turn self-involvement into involvement.

Hazelden Foundation

July 30, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Serenity Prayer
The Eye Opener
Thursday, July 30, 2015
 
No pleasures of our drinking days even compensated for those horrible nights of wakeful tossing. The interminable pacing the floor; those night sweats; the endless hours when we couldn't sleep and at the same time dreaded falling asleep. The hours that seemed to stretch into eternity as we lay in bed with remorse as a bedfellow. Then the Hell of the goof-balls that made our nights better and our days worse.

The physical pain we might have endured for many more years, but the anguish of the heart and soul was unendurable.

Hazelden Foundation

July 30, 2015 - Good morning & welcome to what's going to be a Terrific Thursday, folks!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July 29, 2015 - Report: Two current NFL players would come out as gay if not for the media

Outsports: July 29, 2015 - 2 gay NFL players would come out if media wouldn't make a big deal out of it, report says - Outsports

July 29, 2015 - The 13 biggest homophobic trolls in the media

Advocate: July 29, 2015 - The 13 Biggest Trolls in Media | Advocate.com

July 29, 2015 - One man's private hell: A life of suicide

The Good Men Project: July 29, 2015 - My Life of Suicide -

July 29, 2015 - Gay, transgender Catholics call on pope to take a stand

New York Times: July 29, 2015 - Gay and Transgender Catholics Urge Pope Francis to Take a Stand - The New York Times

July 29, 2015 - Top Mormons could meet about leaving Scouts after repeal of gay ban

New York Times: July 29, 2015 - Top Mormons Could Meet Soon About Leaving Scouts - The New York Times

July 29, 2015 - Editorial: The challenges that remain after marriage equality

New York Times: July 29, 2015 - Editorial: The Challenges That Remain After Marriage Equality - The New York Times

July 29, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden

The Serenity Prayer
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Today's thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

I am still amazed, after years of recovering, at how easily I can begin to talk myself out of attending meetings. I am also still amazed at how good I feel when I go.
 -- Anonymous


We don't have to stay stuck in our misery and discomfort. An immediate option is available that will help us feel better: go to a meeting, a Twelve Step support group.

Why resist what can help us feel better? Why sit in our obsession or depression when attending a meeting - even if that means an extra meeting - would help us feel better?

Too busy?

There are 168 hours in each week. Taking 1 or 2 hours a week for a meeting can maximize the potential of the remaining 166 hours. If we get into our "codependent stuff," we can easily spend a majority of our waking hours obsessing, sitting and doing nothing, lying in bed and feeling depressed, or chasing after other people's needs. Not taking those 2 hours for a meeting can cause us to waste the remaining hours.

Too tired?

There is nothing as invigorating as getting back on track. Going to a meeting can accomplish that.

Today, I will remember that going to meetings helps.
You are reading from the book:
The Language of Letting Go © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation

July 29, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

The Serenity Prayer
Step by Step
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
 
"I never knew which came first, the thinking or the drinking. If I could only stop thinking, I wouldn't drink. If I could only stop drinking, maybe I wouldn't think. But they were all mixed up together, and I was all mixed up inside. And yet I had to have that drink. You know the deteriorating effects, the disintegrating effects of chronic wine-drinking. I cared nothing about my personal appearance. I didn't care what I looked like. I didn't care what I did. To me, taking a bath was just being in a place with a bottle where I could drink in privacy. I had to have it with me at night, in case I woke up and needed that drink." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part II ("They Stopped in Time"), Ch 4 ("The Housewife Who Drank at Home"), p 337.

Today, I don't care which came first, the delusional and irrational thinking or the drinking, because it doesn't matter. Whether some deluded thinking led me to alcohol for a clearer perspective or if excess drinking fueled a thinking problem is moot because, now, the two are intertwined. Thus, my thinking now cannot be that I can start drinking responsibly if I get my thinking in a logical sync. Nor can I believe that I can drink responsibly. Neither is possible. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Does it matter? The chicken's polluted; whatever comes out of it is also polluted. Today, I don't care where my drinking thinking or thinking drinking came from. I need both corrected, and I'm where I need to be to get both. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2015

July 29, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

The Serenity Prayer
Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
 
AA Thought for the Day
There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept from fear and apprehension. One of these days is yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed. We cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone beyond recall.

Do I still worry about what happened yesterday?

Meditation for the Day
"God will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able, but with the temptation He will also find a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." If you have enough faith and trust in God, He will give you all the strength you need to face every temptation and to overcome it. Nothing will prove too hard for you to bear. You can face any situation. "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." You can overcome any temptation with God's help. So fear nothing.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may face every situation without fear. I pray that nothing will prove too hard for me to bear.

Hazelden Foundation

July 29, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

The Serenity Prayer
A Day at a Time
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
 
Reflection for the Day
The feeling of self-pity, which we've all suffered at one time or another, is one of the ugliest emotions we can experience. We don't even relish the thought of admitting to others that we're awash in self-pity. We hate being told that it shows; we quickly argue that we're feeling another emotion instead; we go so far as to "cleverly" hide from ourselves the fact that we're going through a siege of "poor-me-ism." By the same token, in a split-second, we can easily find several dozen "valid" reasons for feeling sorry for ourselves.

Do I sometimes enjoy rubbing salt into my own wounds?

Today I Pray
May I recognize the emotions I am feeling for what they are. If I am unable to point them out to myself, may I count on others who know what it's like to be a feelings-sufferer. May I stay in touch with my feelings by staying in touch with my Higher Power and with the others in my group.

Today I Will Remember
Stay in touch.

Hazelden Foundation

July 29, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Serenity Prayer
The Eye Opener
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
 
Humility has been the hardest of all the virtues to acquire for many of us. Few of us know what it actually is. Many have it and think they don't; many don't have it and think they do. Many admit they don't understand the word and forget it, leaving to the world to judge whether they have it or not.

The best way to acquire Humility is to constantly remind yourself how much lower than a snake's belly you would be but for the Grace of God. You made a horrible mess of running your life and failed completely, but that Grace could and did make you what you are today.

Hazelden Foundation

July 29, 2015 - Rise 'n shine in what's going to be a Wondrous Wednesday, folks!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28, 2015 - Study suggests Americans are becoming more tolerant of LGBT people

Huffington Post: July 28, 2015 - Americans Become More Accepting Of Gays Every Day, Study Suggests

July 28, 2015 - This 'Straight Pride' parade couldn't have failed more miserably

Huffington Post: July 28, 2015 - This Heterosexual Pride Parade Could Not Have Failed Any Harder Than It Just Did

July 28, 2015 - 'Brokeback Mountain' observes 10th anniversary with classic status

Advocate: July 28, 2015 - 'Brokeback Mountain': The 10th Anniversary of a Gay Classic | Advocate.com

July 28, 2015 - Boy Scouts officially end ban on gay leaders over protests by Mormon Church

New York Times: July 28, 2015 - Boy Scouts End Ban on Gay Leaders, Over Protests by Mormon Church - The New York Times

July 28, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden

The Serenity Prayer
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Today's thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Live big!
 -- Brady Michaels


Sometimes, that's the best advice we can hear. Win or lose succeed or fail, go for it, and go all the way. As my flight instructor told me on the first day of flying lessons, "Keep one hand on the throttle and one hand on the yoke." "Aahhhhh!" I would say during my early lessons as the plane lifted into the air, but I kept the throttle pushed all the way in.

There are times when it's wise to be cautious. And there are times when the best thing we can do - the only thing we can do - is go for it by living big. Ask her out. Request the raise. Say no - and mean it. Learn to drive a racecar or climb a tall hill. Learn to snorkel or surf. Dreams remain dreams until you act upon them. Then they become real life.

Will you throw a few coins into the beggar's cup, or will you bring him a hamburger and fries from the local fast-food place? Will you do an average job at work, or will you look for ways to go big - really give it your best - in the everyday areas of your job? Will you put your all - your heart and emotions - into the relationship with the people you love? Will you wait for another, more convenient time to pray, or will you start genuinely trusting God?

You don't have to get a life. You've already got one. Live it, and live big.

God, help me let go of my fear and timidity, and learn to live big.
You are reading from the book:
More Language of Letting Go © 2000 by Melody Beattie

July 28, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

The Serenity Prayer
Step by Step
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
 
Today, abstaining from drinking is not enough in recovery. Addiction in general and alcoholism specifically are three-level diseases - physical, emotional, and spiritual. While not drinking is most certainly the beginning, it is not the end because abstaining will improve the physical ravages of drinking only but not the psychological and spiritual damage. It is for treatment of the emotional and spiritual that we have AA; here, we are given the tools to undo the damage we have done and, when repair isn't possible, how to accept our mistakes, forgive ourselves even when no one else does and move ahead toward sobriety. Without that treatment and when we depend solely on abstinence, we are less sober and more like a dry drunk. Today, I accept that not drinking by itself is not enough to attain the sobriety and quality of the life I seek. Today, I pick up and begin to use the program's steps of recovery. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2015

July 28, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
 
AA Thought for the Day
To continue the paraphrase of the psalm: "The judgments of the twelve steps are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than whiskey, yea, than much fine whiskey, sweeter also than wine. Moreover, by them are alcoholics warned and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand our alcoholism? Cleanse us from secret faults. Keep us from presumptuous resentments. Let them not have dominion over us. Then shall we be upright and free of the great transgression."

Am I resolved that liquor will never again have dominion over me?

Meditation for the Day
God can be your shield. Then no problems of the world can harm you. Between you and all scorn and indignity from others is your trust in God, like a shining shield. Nothing can then have the power to spoil your inward peace. With this shield, you can attain this inward peace quickly, in your surroundings as well as in your heart. With this inward peace, you do not need to resent the person who troubles you. Instead, you can overcome the resentment in your own mind which may have been aroused by that person.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may strive for inward peace. I pray that I may not be seriously upset, no matter what happens around me.

Hazelden Foundation

July 28, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
 
Reflection for the Day
We learn the value of meditation in The Program. As the beginning of the Eleventh Step suggests, we seek through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand Him. One of the great values of meditation is that it clears the mind. And as the mind becomes clearer, it becomes more capable and willing to acknowledge the truth. Less pain is required to force honest recognition of defects and their results. The real needs of the whole person are revealed.

Are prayer and meditation a regular part of my daily living?

Today I Pray
May God's truths be revealed to me through meditation and these small prayers, through contact with my group which keeps me mindful of my need to clear my mind with daily meditation. For only an uncluttered mind can receive God; only a mind cleansed of self-interest can acknowledge the truth.

Today I Will Remember
Meditation is a mind-cleanser.

Hazelden Foundation