Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Feb. 28, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017

Feb. 28, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017
 
Today, take the program from theoretical to practical application to both recovery and life. If I hear "Easy Does It," I cannot use it as "permission" to neglect daily responsibilities and what must be done today. Instead, it means not to expect too much of either myself or another person. And "Let Go and Let God" does not mean I can expect my higher power to tend to what is my responsibility and within my capability. Realize I am letting go of my own will for myself and letting God tell me what His will is for me. "One (drink) is one too many and never enough"  tells me, simply, not to try to find out what is "never enough" and not to try the first one at all. "Making amends"  isn't simply saying, "I'm sorry," but is acceptance of consequences and working harder if some of those amends are rejected. "One Day at a Time" is simple: today is all I've got and yesterday can't be undone or redone, and tomorrow is not guaranteed. Even it is, I have to give today my best shot because it may well reverberate into tomorrow. Today, move from theory to the practical, and it's time to roll up the sleeves. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
We should be free from alcohol for good. It's out of our hands and in the hands of God, so we don't need to worry about it or even think about it any more. But if we haven't done this honestly and fully, the chances are that it will become our problem again. Since we don't trust God to take care of the problem for us, we reach out and take the problem back to ourselves. Then it's our problem again and we're in the same old mess we were in before. We're helpless again and we drink.

Do I trust God to take care of the problem for me?

Meditation for the Day
No work is of value without preparation. Every spiritual work must have behind it much spiritual preparation. Cut short times of prayer and times of spiritual preparation and many hours of work may be profitless. From the point of view of God, one poor tool working all the time but doing back work because of lack of preparation, is of small value compared with the sharp, keen, perfect instrument working for only a short time but which turns out perfect work because of long hours of spiritual preparation.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may spend more time alone with God. I pray that I may get more strength and joy from such times, so that they will add much to my work.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 28, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
We're taught in The Program and the Twelve Steps that the chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear - mainly fear that we would lose something we already possessed or that we would fail to get something we demanded. Living on the basis of unsatisfied demands, we obviously were in a state of continual disturbance and frustration. Therefore, we are taught, no peace will be ours unless we find a means of reducing these demands.

Have I become entirely ready to have God remove all my defects of character?

Today I Pray
May I make no unrealistic demands on life which, because of their grandiosity, cannot be met. May I place no excessive demands on others which, when they are not fulfilled, leave me disappointed and let down.

Today I Will Remember
The set-up for a let-down.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 28, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017
 
Many of us would have been ready to do something about our drinking problem years before we did, except for the obstinate determination not to allow the wife, mother or boss to tell us what to do.
Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 28, 2017 - Alright, folks -- it's Tuesday, so let's do it as best we can


Monday, February 27, 2017

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

Monday, Feb. 27, 2017

Feb. 27, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, Feb. 27, 2017
 
Todayeven if we are sober without meetings, consider the possibility that the quality of sobriety might be enhanced if we resume regular meeting attendance - and participation. In neglecting meetings even if I am practicing AA's steps, I could be denying myself fresh perspectives that could lift me over some of the bumps on Sobriety Road. I also may be denying a newcomer or someone in relapse my own experience, strength and hope or anything else that might help them in their own journey. And if my lack of attendance at meetings is because of some rift within my home group, we have the freedom to "shop" for the meeting that we feel is best suited to our needs. But, in the end, neglecting meetings may well risk sobriety if for no other reason than I am not receiving someone else's experience, strength and hope and I am not fully 12th-stepping by not sharing my own. Today, if I am only IN the program, I will get WITH it. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Feb. 27, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
When we came into AA, the first thing we did was to admit that we couldn't do anything about our drinking. We admitted that alcohol had us licked and that we were helpless against it. We never could decide whether or not to take a drink. We always took the drink. And since we couldn't do anything about it ourselves, we put our whole drink problem into the hands of God. We turned the whole thing over to that Power greater than ourselves. And we have nothing more to do about it, except to trust God to take care of the problem for us.

Have I done this honestly and fully?

Meditation for the Day
This is the time for my spirit to touch the spirit of God. I know that the feeling of the spirit-touch is more important than all the sensation of material things. I must seek a silence of spirit-touching with God. Just a moment's contact and all the fever of life leaves me. Then I am well, whole, calm and able to rise and minister to others. God's touch is a potent healer. I must feel that touch and sense God's presence.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that the fever of resentment, worry and fear may melt into nothingness. I pray that health, joy, peace and serenity may take its place.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 27, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, Feb. 27, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
If I live just one day at a time, I won't so quickly entertain fears of what might happen tomorrow. As long as I'm concentrating on today's activities, there won't be room in my mind for worrying. I'll try to fill every minute of this day with something good - seen, heard, accomplished. Then, when the day is ended, I'll be able to look back on it with satisfaction, serenity and gratitude.

Do I sometimes cherish bad feelings so that I can feel sorry for myself?

Today I Pray
That I will get out of the self-pity act and live for today. May I notice the good things from dawn to nightfall, learn to talk about them and thank God for them. May I catch myself if I seem to be relishing my moans and complaints more often than appreciating the goodness of my life.

Today I Will Remember
Today is good.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 27, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, Feb. 27, 2017
 
We know from past experiences that we actually invited all our troubles to enter our lives. We left the door wide open for them. Getting sober does not necessarily mean we have closed all the doors, for some of us have only closed the front door and left the back door wide open.

The chances are that you are not only vulnerable through the door marked Alcohol. As you advance to the front, watch well both flanks and the rear.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 27, 2017 - OK, if we have to do Monday, let's do it as best we can


Sunday, February 26, 2017

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

Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017

Feb. 26, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017
 
Todayunderstand we cannot take Step Seven of asking a higher power to "remove our shortcomings"  without first surrendering completely to the Sixth Step of being "entirely ready."  If we cling onto some character defect such as fear, resentment, anger, self-pity or remorse, we probably have not been thoroughly honest in our Fourth Step of "a searching and fearless moral inventory ..."  Some - if not all - of those character defects likely triggered our drinking, at first abusively and eventually compulsively, and holding onto them even with an honest desire to let go of them may threaten the quality of our sobriety - maybe sobriety itself. An "honest desire"  to surrender our defects, then, is not sufficient. Because the program is one of action, we must be active in releasing our defects and not taking them back. Our thoughts, feelings and actions of yesterday influence our tomorrows; thus, what we do today may well impact tomorrow, and a history of carrying from yesterday into tomorrow is one of self-destruction. Today, if we are mired in defects that we know contributed to our drinking, let's review our Fourth to see if it wasn't as "searching and fearless"  as it should be. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
When we came into AA, we came to believe in a Power greater than ourselves. We came to believe in that Divine Principle in the universe which we call God, and to which we can turn for help. Each morning we have a quiet time. We ask God for the power to stay sober for the next 24 hours. And each night we thank Him for helping us to keep sober that day.

Do I believe that each man or woman I see in AA is a demonstration of the power of God to change a human being from a drunkard to a sober person?

Meditation for the Day
I should pray for faith as a thirsty person prays for water in a desert. Do I know what it means to feel sure that God will never fail me? Am I sure of this as I am sure that I still breathe? I should pray daily and most diligently that my faith may increase. There is nothing lacking in my life because, really, all I need is mine, only I lack the faith to know it. I am like a rich man's child who sits in rags when all around me are stores of all I could desire.

Prayer for the Day
I pray for the realization that God has everything I need. I pray that I may know that His power is always available.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
"What if ..."  How often we hear these words from newcomers to The Program. How often, in fact, we tend to say them ourselves. "What if I lose my job ...,"  "What if my car breaks down ...,"  "What if I get sick and can't work ...,"  "What if my child gets hooked on drugs?"  What if - anything our desperate imaginings can project. Only two small words, yet how heavy-laden they are with dread, fear and anxiety. The answer to, "What if ...,"  is, plainly and simply, "Don't project."  We can only live with our problems as they arise, living one day at a time.

Am I keeping my thoughts positive?

Today I Pray
May I grow spiritually, without being held back by anxieties. May projected fears not hobble my pursuits or keep me from making the most of today. May I turn out fear by faith. If I will only make a place for God within me, He will remove my fears.

Today I Will Remember
I can only borrow trouble at high interest rates.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 26, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017
 
Frequently we are asked, "Why waste your money on that guy? He's a phony if ever I saw one."  We have all heard this and often it was true but, after all, the monetary loss each month was way below our old whiskey bills. Every once in a while, the long shot does come in and the payoff is tremendous.

It is simply a case of betting on people instead of horses. These bets on people can't lose, for if the phony abuses your generosity, the fault is his, not yours, and he is debited and you are credited by the Great Bookkeeper who has charge of the Treasury where "neither moth nor rust doth corrupt and where thieves do not break through and steal."

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 26, 2017 - Time to get started on a beautiful and peaceful Sunday


Saturday, February 25, 2017

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

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017

Feb. 25, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017
Today, admit that I abused, misused, took for granted and literally threw away through my drinking and actions all that I had been GIVEN unconditionally - love, respect, self-respect, integrity, friends, family, innocence - and traded it for selfishness, insecurity, fear, regret, pain, agony, anguish, loss and time that will never be recovered. Now, I am forced to admit I cannot expect to be given what I drank away - nor should I be enabled in regaining what I lost - without earning it. And I have the tools to begin the rebuilding process, courtesy of AA. So simple! But the work to apply those tools forces me to ask my Higher Power, on bended knees, for the strength, courage, honesty, discipline, integrity and selflessness to earn back - not demand nor expect them to be handed to me - what I have lost. And, if I do the job right, I may get back more than I lost. Today, I accept I must remake myself and, with the program, I've got the tools to do it. All that remains is my choice to pick them up and put them to use. Today, I pick them up and begin the rebuilding process. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
Some people find it hard to believe in a Power greater than themselves. But not to believe in such a Power forces us to atheism. It has been said that atheism is blind faith in the strange proposition that this universe originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes nowhere. That's practically impossible to believe. I think we all can agree that alcohol is a power greater than ourselves. It certainly was in my case. I was helpless before the power of alcohol.

Do I remember the things that happened to me because of the power of alcohol?

Meditation for the Day
The spiritual and moral will eventually overcome the material and unmoral. That is the purpose and destiny of the human race. Gradually the spiritual is overcoming the material in our minds. Gradually the moral is overcoming the unmoral. Faith, fellowship and service are cures for most of the ills of the world. There is nothing in the field of personal relationships that they cannot do.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may do my share in making a better world. I pray that I may be part of the cure for the ills of the world.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
Before we came to The Program, fear ruled our lives. Tyrannized by our addictions and obsessions, we feared everything and everybody. We feared ourselves and, perhaps most of all, feared fear itself. These days, when I am able to accept the help of my Higher Power, it makes me feel capable of doing anything I am called upon to do. I am overcoming my fears and acquiring a comfortable new confidence.

Can I believe that "courage is fear that has said its prayers ...?"

Today I Pray
God grant that through faith in Him I may overcome my obsessive fears. I have been running scared for so long it has become a habit. God help me to see that I may be purposely clinging to my fears to avoid making decisions, perhaps even to shirk the responsibility of success

Today I Will Remember
Fear keeps me safe from risk-taking.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 25, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017
 
Few of us who are successfully working the AA Program have failed to notice the almost immediate influence our sobriety has brought about, not only in our homes and jobs but in the community as well.

Some of us who a short time ago stood before the judge and got the usual "$10 or 10 days" are now frequently closeted in the Judge's Chambers at his invitation to assist him in his handling of the alcoholic problem.

We know what we were, we know what we are, now let us be what we can be.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 25, 2017 - Rise 'n shine for a spectacular Saturday and great weekend


Friday, February 24, 2017

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

Friday, Feb. 24, 2017

Feb. 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 
Today, apply the program more widely and remember it is developed not solely to guide us to sobriety but to detect and correct the character flaws that enabled our drinking. Being dry is all we can expect if the only action we take is to quit drinking. Abstinence by itself won't earn us the sobriety and peace if we do not uncover, admit and either give up or correct the dysfunctional dynamics of our spiritual and emotional characters. Being dry is a major step forward from our drinking days, but dry without peace puts us at significant risk of relapse if we turn a blind eye to the defective parts of our character. And because simply being dry puts us on the edge of a relapse waiting to happen, AA helps us to deal with the defects in mental, spiritual and emotional characters. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, Feb. 24, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
When we came to our first AA meeting, we looked up at the wall at the end of the room and saw the sign: "But for the Grace of God." We knew right then and there that we would have to call on the Grace of God in order to get sober and get over our soul-sickness. We heard speakers tell how they had come to depend on a Power greater than themselves. That made sense to us and we made up our minds to try it.

Am I depending on the Grace of God to help me stay sober?

Meditation for the Day
Share your love, your joy, your happiness, your time, your food, your money gladly with all. Give out all the love you can with a glad, free heart and hand. Do all you can for others and back will come countless stores of blessings. Sharing draws others to you. Take all who come as sent by God and give them a royal welcome. You may never see the results of your sharing. Today they may not need you, but tomorrow may bring results from the sharing you did today.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may make each visitor desire to return. I pray that I may never make anyone feel repulsed or unwanted.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Friday, Feb. 24, 2017
 
Reflection for the Day
I can banish fear by realizing the truth. Am I afraid to be alone? This fear can be banished by the realization that I am never alone, that God is always with me wherever I am and whatever I do. Am I afraid that I won't have enough money to meet my needs? This fear can be banished by the realization that God is my inexhaustible, unfailing resource, now and always. Today I have the power to change fear into faith.

Can I say with confidence, "I will trust, and will not be afraid ...?"

Today I Pray
That I may fear no evil, for God is with me. That I may learn to turn to my Higher Power when I am afraid. I pray diligently that my faith in God and trust in what He has in store for me is strong enough to banish the fears that undermine my courage.

Today I Will Remember
Turn fear into faith.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 24, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Friday, Feb. 24, 2017
 
We alcoholics know that one drink is too much and a barrel isn't enough. That first drink starts the compulsion to drink.

Suppressing desires can become a habit just as their satisfaction does. Each time we Say "NO," we weaken the old habit and strengthen the new.

The efforts to satisfy our desires led us to the excesses that brought about our alcoholism. So let us follow the advise of John Stuart Mill and "learn to seek our happiness by limiting our desires, rather than attempting to satisfy them."

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 24, 2017 - Time to get moving on what's going to be a fabulous Friday


Thursday, February 23, 2017

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

Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017

Feb. 23, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017
 
Today, if life sneaks in unexpected tasks or frustration that delay my plans, I will not cave to anger or a sense of failure at not carrying out my plans to completion. Even if my patience or expectations of myself or others are stretched to the max, I will not whine with self-pity or anything else negative because, if I have gotten through the last 24 Hours sober, I have literally nothing to complain about and absolutely everything for which to be grateful and humble. I have no excuse to morph frustration or anger into self-imposed isolation because isolation is the breeding ground for loneliness - and loneliness can be lethal in recovery. But should I feel lonely, I will reach out to someone who can lend an empathetic - not sympathetic - ear or, in the spirit the 12th Step, jump into some form of service to someone or something in need and want. An old saying is that the non-addict who has a flat tire calls Triple A, but the recovering alcoholic with a flat calls Suicide Prevention. Today, I will use the steps to keep events and things in their proper perspective and, if I find I have a flat tire today, I'll call roadside assistance. Suicide Prevention has other people in greater need. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017
 
AA Thought for the Day
Besides our jobs, our families, our friends and our sobriety, we have something else which many of us found through AA. That's faith in a Power greater than ourselves, to which we can turn for help: faith in that Divine Principle in the universe which we call God and which is on our side as long as we do the right thing. There have been many days in the past when, if we had taken an inventory, we'd have found ourselves very much in the red, without sobriety and, therefore, without jobs, families, friends or faith in God. We now have these things because we're sober.

Do I make one resolution every day of my life - to stay sober?

Meditation for the Day
Love the busy life. It is a joy-filled life. Take your fill of joy in the Spring. Live outdoors whenever possible. Sun and air are nature's great healing forces. That inward joy changes poisoned blood into a pure, healthy, life-giving flow. But never forget that the real healing of the spirit comes from within, from the close, loving contact of your spirit with God's spirit. Keep in close communion with God's spirit day by day.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may learn to live the abundant life. I pray that I may enjoy a close contact with God this day and be glad in it.

Hazelden Foundation