Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Feb. 22, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017
Today, indecision is NO decision and no decision is stagnation - in growth, progress, sobriety, moving forward, moving on. If some issue has immobilized me with uncertainty or fear of the outcome, the uncertainty of no resolution will likely progress to a breaking point. And, for me, the breaking point could be my sobriety. Today, enough is enough. I will decide, and I will call on the program and Higher Power how best to resolve the thing that has hung over my head far too long. And in coming to a decision, God grant me the wisdom that the outcome may be what I need and not necessarily what I want. Today, no decision will yield to decision, and what has kept me stagnant loses its control. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
Now we can take an inventory of the good things that have come to us through AA. To begin with, we're sober today. That's the greatest asset on any alcoholic's books. Sobriety to us is like good will in business. Everything else depends on that. Most of us have jobs which we owe to our sobriety. We know we couldn't hold these jobs if we were drinking, so our jobs depend on our sobriety. Most of us have wives or husbands and children, which we either had lost or might have lost, if we hadn't stopped drinking. We have friends in AA, real friends who are always ready to help us.

Do I realize that my job, my family and my real friends are dependent upon my sobriety?

Meditation for the Day
I must trust God to the best of my ability. This lesson has to be learned. My doubts and fears continually drive me back into the wilderness. Doubts lead me astray, because I am not trusting God. I must trust God's love. It will never fail me, but I must learn not to fail it by my doubts and fears. We all have much to learn in turning out fear by faith. All our doubts arrest God's work through us. I must not doubt. I must believe in God and continually work at strengthening my faith.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may live the way God wants me to live. I pray that I may get into that stream of goodness in the world.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
When I came to The Program, I found people who knew exactly what I meant when I spoke finally of my fears. They had been where I had been; they understood. I've since learned that many of my fears have to do with projection. It's normal, for example, to have a tiny "back-burner" fear that the person I love will leave me. But when the fear takes precedence over my present and very real relationship with the person I'm afraid of losing, then I'm in trouble. My responsibility to myself includes this: I must not fear things which do not exist.

Am I changing from a fearful person into a fearless person?

Today I Pray
I ask God's help in waving away my fears - those figments, fantasies, monstrous thoughts, projections of disaster which have no bearing on the present. May I narrow the focus of my imagination and concentrate on the here-and-now, for I tend to see the future through a magnifying glass.

Today I Will Remember
Projected fears, like shadows, are larger than life.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 22, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017
 
You cannot know and appreciate wisdom unless you are also acquainted with a liberal amount of pure folly. Folly provides the lessons that really stick in our memories and provide danger signals to govern our decisions in our future conduct.

For that reason, the lessons learned overnight in a jail cell outlast those acquired after long periods of study. Believe you me, those lessons are seldom forgotten.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 22, 2017 - Rise 'n shine for a gorgeous Hump Day Wednesday


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017

Feb. 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017
Today: "Keep It Sweet and Simple!" In the end, the complexities and sometimes grueling work of the Twelve Steps come down to a cardinal action: if I do not want to deal with the shakes through the day and the oblivion of intoxications; if I do not want to deal with guilt, remorse, shame and self-degradation; if I do not want the numbing pain of letting down myself and anyone who has stood with me through the worst of my drinking days and the best of my recovery; if I do not want to devote any part of the day and night with my head in a toilet throwing up and with the dry heaves; if I don't want to take bed sheets to the laundromat for an unplanned wash because they got soaked by my own vomit; if I don't want to risk getting nailed for drunk driving and the subsequent court-ordered fines and fees, alcohol classes and triple car insurance rates; if I want to continue to progress in recovery and sobriety; if I want to nurture the re-established relationships that were previously broken and responsibilities that went neglected because of drinking; if I want to keep clear of self-pity, anger, confusion, and anguish; if I want to claim honestly that I am sober today; today, I won't drink. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
I go to the AA meetings because it helps me in my business of keeping sober. And I try to help other alcoholics when I can, because that's part of my business of keeping sober. I also have a partner in this business and that's God. I pray to Him every day to help me to keep sober. As long as I keep in mind that liquor can never be my friend again, but is now my deadly enemy, and as long as I remember that my main business is keeping sober and that it's the most important thing in my life, I believe I'll be prepared for that crucial moment when the idea of having a drink pops into my mind.

When that idea comes, will I be able to resist it and not take that drink?

Meditation for the Day
I will be more afraid of spirit-unrest, of soul-disturbance, of any ruffling of the mind, than of earthquake or fire. When I feel the calm upset, then I must steal away along with God, until my heart sings and all is strong and calm again. Uncalm times are the only times when evil can find an entrance. I will beware of unguarded spots of unrest. I will try to keep calm, no matter what turmoil surrounds me.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that no emotional upsets will hinder God's power in my life. I pray that I may keep a calm spirit and a steady heart.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
Do I waste my time and energy wrestling with situations that aren't actually worth a second thought? Like Don Quixote, the bemused hero of Spanish literature, do I imagine windmills as menacing giants, battling them until I am ready to drop from exhaustion? Today, I'll not allow my imagination to build small troubles into big ones. I'll try to see each situation clearly, giving it only the value and attention it deserves.

Have I come to believe, as the second of the Twelve Steps suggests, that a Power greater than myself can restore me to sanity?

Today I Pray
God, keep my perspective sane. Help me to avoid aggrandizing petty problems, tying too much significance to casual conversations, making a Veruvius out of an anthill. Keep my fears from swelling out of scale, like shadows on a wall. Restore my values, which became distorted during the days of my chemical involvement.

Today I Will Remember
Sanity is perspective.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 21, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017

The effectiveness of AA is largely built upon understanding and human sympathy. These characteristics were not acquired from a book but learned the hard way as we, too, traveled the long dark alley of despair in search of a helping hand and an understanding heart.

Creeds and ideologies are for preachers and students to debate and reason, but our doctrine of love and understanding has nothing to do with reason; frequently it is contrary to reason, as it comes from the heart and not the head.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 21, 2017 - Rise 'n shine for what's going to be a great Tuesday


Monday, February 20, 2017

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

Monday, Feb. 20, 2017

Feb. 20, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, Feb. 20, 2017
Today, in these 24 Hours put aside MY wants and hear the cry of someone whose need is greater, whose anguish cuts deeper and whose fears are more haunting than mine. My prayers and hopes will be for THAT person because HIS needs might, just might, be more important than mine. And in trying to put myself aside in favor of someone else this day, pray that I might experience a fundamental change, a change toward compassion, empathy and selflessness. But in achieving that, my motive hasn't really been altogether selfless - I may have progressed to my first or another spiritual awakening by attaining humility in the knowledge that my own fears, insecurities and problems probably are not as heavy as someone else's. Today, someone whose burdens are heavier than mine will have my prayers. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Feb. 20, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
Liquor used to be my friend. I used to have a lot of fun drinking. Practically all the fun I had was connected with drinking. But the time came when liquor became my enemy. I don't know just when liquor turned against me and became my enemy, but I know it happened because I began to get into trouble. And since I realize that liquor is now my enemy, my main business now is keeping sober. Making a living or keeping house is no longer my main business. It's secondary to the business of keeping sober.

Do I realize that my main business is keeping sober?

Meditation for the Day
I can depend on God to supply me with all the power I need to face any situation, provided that I will sincerely believe in that power and honestly ask for it, at the same time making all my life conform to what I believe God wants me to be. I can come to God as a business manager would come to the owner of the business, knowing that to lay the matter before Him means immediate cooperation, providing the matter has merit.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may believe that God is ready and willing to supply me with all that I need. I pray that I may ask only for faith and strength to meet any situation.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Monday, Feb. 20, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
We are often told in The Program that "more will be revealed." As we are restored to health and become increasingly able to live comfortably in the real world without using chemicals, we begin to see many things in a new light. Many of us have come to realize, for example, that our arch-enemy - anger - comes disguised in many shapes and colors: intolerance, contempt, snobbishness, rigidity, tension, sarcasm, distrust, anxiety, envy, hatred, cynicism, discontent, self-pity, malice, suspicion, jealousy.

Do I let my feelings get the best of me?

Today I Pray
May I recognize that my anger, like a dancer at a masquerade, wears many forms and many faces. May I strip off its several masks and know it for what it is.

Today I Will Remember
Anger wears a thousand masks.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 20, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, Feb. 20, 2017
 
So many times we hear people say, "Don't preach to me about God. He has no time for the likes of me." It is hard for us alcoholics to conceive of a God, whom we have gone out of our way to alienate, who has time for the likes of us - yet we know that He does have time for us and has demonstrated this fact in hundreds of cases, just as though He had nothing else in the world to do.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 20, 2017 - Rise 'n shine for a magnificent Monday and great new week


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Feb. 19, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017

Feb. 19, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017
 
Today, begin the process of reconciling emotional, spiritual and mental defects - even if I am not either willing or able yet to hand them off to my Higher Power. Reconciliation, needed so I see that I must let go of what holds me back, requires that I understand that recovery is more than not drinking and is a fundamental change in my entire character. And abstinence alone cannot achieve that change. It requires a brutally honest Fourth to find my defects and a 10th to understand why and how they impede what I could be in sobriety. In reconciling myself to my defects of character, I may finally be able to say they have no purpose in where I hope to go in recovery, that they harbor a hidden spark to ignite a slip or relapse and, more important, that I want to be done with them once and for all. If the defects I found in the Fourth remain in my 10th and I know it is time to let them go, today, I seek the courage to change what I can - myself. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Feb. 19, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
Many things we do in AA are in preparation for that crucial moment when, walking down the street on a nice sunshiny day, we see a nice cool cocktail lounge and the idea of having a drink pops into our minds. If we've trained our minds so that we're well prepared for that crucial moment, we won't take that first drink. In other words, if we've done our AA homework well, we won't slip when temptation comes.

In preparation for that crucial moment when I'll be tempted, will I keep in mind the fact that liquor is my enemy?

Meditation for the Day
How many of the world's prayers have gone unanswered because those who prayed did not endure to the end? They thought it was too late, that they must act for themselves, that God was not going to guide them. "He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved." Can I endure to the very end? If so, I shall be saved. I will try to endure with courage. If I endure, God will unlock those secret spiritual treasures which are hidden from those who do not endure to the end.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may follow God's guidance, so that spiritual success shall be mine. I pray that I may never doubt the power of God and so take things into my own hands.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 19, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017

 
Reflection for the Day
When a person says something rash or ugly, we sometimes say they are "forgetting themselves," meaning they're forgetting their best selves in a sudden outburst of uncontrolled fury. If I remember the kind of person I want to be, hopefully I won't "forget myself" and yield to a fit of temper. I'll believe that the positive always defeats the negative: courage overcomes fear; patience overcomes anger and irritability; love overcomes hatred.

Am I always striving for improvement?

Today I Pray
Today I ask that God, to Whom all things are possible, help me turn negatives into positives - anger into super-energy, fear into a chance to be courageous, hatred into love. May I take time out to remember examples of such positive-from-negative transformations from the whole of my lifetime. Uppermost is God's miracle: my freedom from the slavery of addiction.

Today I Will Remember
Turn negatives into positives.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 19, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017
 
The AA way of living holds out, for all that will grasp it, everything that is advantageous to life. A healthy mind, a healthy body, a healthy soul. Complete harmony with God, your fellow man and yourself. Truly the peace that passeth all understanding.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 19, 2017 - Time to wake up and get going on a beautiful and serene Sunday


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Feb. 18, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

. . .the living touch of another human being.

When tragedy strikes, we fight to understand why. Something may strike out of nowhere and turn our lives around. We would like to believe that there is some way to explain tragedy. We think that if we could explain it, maybe we could protect ourselves. We wonder if we are being punished. Has an uncaring God abandoned us? We may believe that if God cared, no tragedy would happen.

This is not always a just world. But if we let God be there for us, listening to our rage at injustice and comforting our tears, we can recover, move on, and know that we are not alone. God is with us in the words and the living touch of another human being. We may want to retreat within ourselves when tragedy strikes. This is not a bad or wrong feeling, but it is still important to let others be with us. Time spent with friends and family, and prayer time with our Higher Power, helps us realize that we are not alone in our grief.

Remember a painful time and tell what helped you get through it.
You are reading from the book:
The More We Find in Each Other by Merle Fossum and Mavis Fossum. © 1992 by Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 18, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017
Today, LOYALTY as a responsibility to sobriety, the program and everyone who follows it. From them - sobriety, the program and the people who comprise its fellowship - I have been given a gift. But no gift is completely free. To keep it while passing it on requires maintenance - and with maintenance comes loyalty, and respect of that gift. Today, I will be loyal to my sobriety and the steps and principles needed to develop my sobriety by not drinking or using, by answering the call if someone needing help reaches out. Today, I will not engage in the conduct of the character defects I seek to release to my Higher Power. I will act with loyalty and respect to everyone who, like me, has come to the program to work for a rebirth. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Feb. 18, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
After I became an alcoholic, alcohol poisoned my love for my family and friends, it poisoned my ambition, it poisoned my self-respect. It poisoned my whole life, until I met AA. My life is happier now than it has been for a long time. I don't want to commit suicide. So with the help of God and AA, I'm not going to take any more of that alcoholic poison into my system. And I'm going to keep training my mind never even to think of liquor again in any way except as a poison.
Do I  believe that liquor will poison my life if I ever touch it again?

Meditation for the Day
I will link up my frail nature with the limitless Divine Power. I will link my life with the Divine Force for Good to the world. It is not the passionate appeal that gains the Divine attention as much as the quiet placing of the difficulty and worry in the Divine Hands. So I will trust God like a child who places its tangled skein of wool in the hands of a loving mother to unravel. We please God more by our unquestioning confidence than by imploring Him for help.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may put all my difficulties in God's hands and leave them there. I pray that I may fully trust God to take care of them.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 18, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
We learn in The Program that we cannot punish anyone without punishing ourselves. The release of my tensions, even justified, in a punishing way leaves behind the dregs of bitterness and pain. This was the monotonous story of my life before I came to The Program. So in my new life, I'd do well to consider the long-range benefits of simply owning my emotions, naming them and thus releasing them.

Does the voice of God have a chance to be heard over my reproachful shouting?

Today I Pray
May I avoid name-calling, ego-crushing exchanges. If I am angry, may I try to assign my anger to what someone did instead of what someone is. May I refrain from downgrading, lashing out at character flaws or mindless abuse. May I count on my Higher Power to show me the way.

Today I Will Remember
To deal with anger appropriately.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 18, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017
 
The Program is often referred to as a Selfish Program, and it is primarily that. Jesus of Nazareth told us to "Love our neighbors AS ourselves." We are supposed to love ourselves, and in so doing, we should give to ourselves all the happiness we can. We have found out, however, by practical application, that we can only receive happiness if we give happiness.

We should fulfill all our duties to our families, to our communities and to our neighbors so that we can keep in the good graces of our own conscience, for that is the only avenue of approach to happiness and peace of mind.

If you really love that guy in the mirror, you must of necessity love your Creator and your neighbor.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 18, 2017 - Time to get groovin' on a super Saturday and great weekend


Friday, February 17, 2017

Feb. 17, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Friday, Feb. 17, 2017

Feb. 17, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Friday, Feb. 17, 2017
Today, no noises, no regrets, no fears, no shame, no resentments, no anger, no pain, no lying, no cheating, no stealing, no hate. Today, simply BE without the man-generated drama of obstacles and roadblocks. Today, I banish anything and everything negative, just to know and feel what absolute serenity and rest can be. And if I'm successful, I'll not be just willing but eager to try it again the day after today. Today, I am at peace with myself, with everyone else, with all things. Today, I haven't got time or need to think about a slip or relapse because, today, I CAN be with absolute serenity and peace. They are offered to me by my Higher Power, if only I take them without the doubts, fears, questions about deserving them. Today, I will claim peace and serenity. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Feb. 17, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, Feb. 17, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
Alcohol is poison to the alcoholic. Poison is not too strong a word, because alcoholism leads eventually to the death of the alcoholic. It may be a quick death or a slow death. When we go by package stores and see various kinds of liquor all dressed up in fancy packages to make it look attractive, we should always make it a point to say to ourselves so we'll never forget it: "That stuff's all poison to me." And it is. Alcohol poisoned our lives for a long time.

Do I know that since I'm an alcoholic all liquor is poison to me?

Meditation for the Day
I must somehow find the means of coming nearer to God. That is what really matters. I must somehow seek the true bread of life, which is communion with Him. I must grasp for the truth at the center of all worship. This central truth is all that matters. All forms of worship have this communion with God as their purpose and goal.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may meet God in quiet communion. I pray that I may partake of the soul-food which God has provided for me.

Hazelden Foundation