Monday, December 11, 2017

Dec. 11, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, Dec. 11, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

It is important that we plan for the future, imperative that we accept an outcome unplanned.
 -- Molly McDonald


We sometimes feel confused over how to live just one day at a time while making strategic plans for the future. It seems contradictory to try to do both. Yet that is what a healthy recovery means.

Goals help direct our attention. They give us needed focus. They give us enthusiasm for making the most of our recovery. But just as we need goals to strengthen our resolve to move forward, we need willingness to let God be involved in our effort and, even more important, in charge of the outcome. God's role and ours, though related, are in fact quite separate. In our rush to move forward we sometimes forget to turn over the reins when our part is done.

We are learning the joys of living one day at a time. We are letting God be responsible for the outcomes of our endeavors. Each day in recovery gives us more time to practice doing only what we need to do and leaving the rest in God's hands.

I must let God take charge of the outcomes of my efforts today. If I do, I will be cared for in the most loving fashion.
You are reading from the book:

A Woman's Spirit by Karen Casey. © 1994 by Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 11, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 
"For most normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colorful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good. But not so with us in those last days of heavy drinking. The old pleasures were gone. They were but memories. Never could we recapture the great moments of the past. There was an insistent yearning to enjoy life as we once did and a heartbreaking obsession that some new miracle of control would enable us to do it. There was always one more attempt - and one more failure." Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 11 ("A Vision for You"), p 151. 

Todaydrinking to deal with emotions and people I could not handle, I ask if I ever found "release from care, boredom and worry" or a "joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good?"  No, I didn't. Alcohol was never a social luxury for me. Instead, it was a way to oblivion so that I didn't have to deal with what I couldn't or didn't want to face. "...(T)he great moments of the past?" Mine overwhelmed any good ones. With that memory, then, why do I want to reclaim any moments of my drinking past? I don't. The program has given me the ammunition to deal with and face what I once could not. I don't need alcohol now, and I don't want it. In sobriety, I'm making better memories. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Dec. 11, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Dec. 11, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Doctors think of the AA fellowship as group therapy. This is a very narrow conception of the depth of the AA fellowship. Looking at it purely as a means of acquiring and holding sobriety, it is right as far as it goes. But it doesn't go far enough. Group therapy is directed toward the help that the individual receives from it. It is essentially selfish. It is using the companionship of other alcoholics only in order to stay sober ourselves. But this is only the beginning of real AA fellowship.

Do I deeply feel the true AA fellowship?

Meditation for the Day
Most of us have had to live through the dark part of our lives, the time of failure, the nighttime of our lives, when we were full of struggle and care, worry and remorse, when we felt deeply the tragedy of life. But with our daily surrender to a Higher Power, come a peace and joy that makes all things new. We can now take each day as a joyous sunrise-gift from God to use for Him and for other people. The night of the past is gone, this day is ours.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may take this day as a gift from God. I pray that I may thank God for this day and be glad in it.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 11, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, Dec. 11, 2017
Reflection for the Day
Before I came to The Program - in fact, before I knew of The Program's existence - I drifted from crisis to crisis. Occasionally, I tried to use my will to chart a new course; however, like a rudderless ship, I inevitably foundered once again on the rocks of my own despair. Today, in contrast, I receive guidance from my Higher Power. Sometimes, the only answer is a sense of peace of an assurance that all is well.

Even though there may be a time of waiting before I see results, or before any direct guidance comes, will I try to remain confident that things are working out in ways that will be for the greatest good of everyone concerned?

Today I Pray
May I not expect instant, verbal communication with my Higher Power, like directions on a stamped, self-addressed postcard. May I have patience, and listen and sense that God is present. May I accept my new feeling of radiant warmth and serenity as God's way of assuring me that I am, finally, making some good choices.

Today I Will Remember
Patience: God's message will come.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 11, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, Dec. 11, 2017

Every man is both human and divine, both good and evil, strong and weak, wise and foolish. The body, soul and mind are the battleground of our conflicting natures, and while these conflicts rage, we can have no peace.

It is only when we bring our conflicting emotions under control that victory over self is possible. We alcoholics have learned that we are unable to accomplish this without outside help. With that help, real peace is obtainable. No other way has worked for us.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 11, 2017 - Rise 'n shine for a marvelous Monday and great new week with hope, faith, gratitude and courage


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Dec. 10, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are.
 -- George Bernard Shaw


It's easy to let circumstances determine how we think and behave. While it's true that some events seem devastating, our relationship with a Higher Power can help us accept and even grow from experiences that seem impossible to cope with.

We all have known men and women who've handled grave upsets far more easily than we have. How did they do it? They have no magic. Rather, they may be more comfortable letting their Higher Power help them accept and understand unfortunate circumstances. Once we accept our anger or disappointment, we're free to move on to better feelings. We begin to realize we have choices in how we look at problems.

We are never given more than we can handle. We can develop acceptance of any circumstances, but our success in doing so comes mainly through our reliance on God to show us the way.

God will help me handle the uncontrollable events of today. Through acceptance, I can change my feelings at any moment - even right now.
You are reading from the book:

In God's Care by Karen Casey. © 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 10, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017 

Todayunderstand that gratitude and humility are not the same thing and why the difference is important to our recovery. We tend to think humility is gratitude for the good we have experienced in sobriety. But this is not humility; being thankful is gratitude. Humility is the surrender of our own will to the higher power of our individual understanding. And why is humility vital to our recovery? In genuinely seeking the will of our higher power and the ability to carry it out, we are abandoning the failed strategy of yesterday's drunks - doing it our way. Most of us have been there and done that and, for most of us, it didn't work. Today, we cannot express sincere gratitude and claim we are humble if we have not asked our higher power what He wants us to do and how to do it. With that expression, we loosen our grip on self-will run riot, and we have taken a step forward toward recovery. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Dec. 10, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Our drinking fellowship was a substitute one, for lack of something better. At the time, we did not realize what real fellowship could be. Drinking fellowship has a fatal fault. It is not based on a firm foundation. Most of it is on the surface. It is based mostly on the desire to use your companions for our own pleasure, and using others is a false foundation. Drinking fellowship has been praised in song and story. The "cup that cheers" has become famous as a means of companionship. But we realize that the higher centers of our brains are dulled by alcohol and such fellowship cannot be on the highest plane. It is at best only a substitute.

Do I see my drinking fellowship in its proper light?

Meditation for the Day
Set for yourself the task of growing daily more and more into the consciousness of a Higher Power. We must keep trying to improve our conscious contact with God. This is done by prayer, quiet times and communion. Often all you need to do is sit silent before God and let Him speak to you through your thought. Try to think God's thoughts after Him. When the guidance comes, you must not hesitate but go out and follow that guidance in your daily work, doing what you believe to be the right thing.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be still and know that God is with me. I pray that I may open my mind to the leading of the Divine Mind.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 10, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017

Reflection for the Day
Have I ever stopped to think that the impulse to "blow off steam" and say something unkind or even vicious will, if followed through, hurt me far more seriously than the person to whom the insult is directed? I must try constantly to quiet my mind before I act with impatience or hostility, for my mind can be - in that very real way - an enemy as great as any I've ever known.

Will I look before I leap, think before I speak - and try to avoid self-will to the greatest extent possible?

Today I Pray
May I remember that my blow-ups and explosions, when they are torrents of accusations or insults, hurt me just as much as the other person. May I try not to let my anger get to the blow-up stage, simply by recognizing it as I go along and stating it as a fact.

Today I Will Remember
Keep a loose lid on the teapot.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 10, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017

It is hard for us at times to understand the misfortunes that befall us when we are doing the very best we know how, to live right by both God and man.

It is only in times that try men's souls that the soul develops and grows stronger. Like a muscle, it develops with hard work.

If you would produce an exceptional rose, you must prune the brush of every budding branch so that all the strength goes into the single bloom. It's not what the bush would want, but it develops the perfection in the rose you desire.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 10, 2017 - Good morning to a serene Sunday with new faith, hope, courage and gratitude


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Dec. 9, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017
Today's thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
Optimism
What I think about surrounds me. What I allow to be entertained in my mind becomes a reality. If I think negatively, I will attract negativity in my life. On the other hand, if I concentrate on developing positive thoughts, I will attract positive people and events to my life. My potential will be increased.

I cannot control what thoughts come into my mind, but I can control my perception and reaction to them.
I pray that I may be filled with positive thoughts today; I deserve the resulting rewards.
You are reading from the book:

Help for Helpers © 1989 by Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 9, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017
"Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 5 ("How It Works"), p 64. 

Today, I cannot hear too often that my drinking "was but a symptom" of a deeper emotional and spiritual turmoil that plunged me into alcoholism. Accepting this truth, logic brings the companion truth that abstinence from drinking by itself will not bring me the serenity and better life that sobriety promises. Without confronting and taking on the "causes and conditions" of my alcoholism, I may be a relapse waiting to happen. This is why, for me, I have to move beyond abstinence alone and work the steps of the program, from the gut-wrenching honesty of the Fourth to offering amends to everyone my drinking hurt and the spiritual renewal promised me in Step 12 - and its command that I be in some form of service if for no other reason than to take my attention off myself and on the needs and plights of the alcoholic who still suffers. Today, simply not drinking is not enough by itself and I look to the steps to guide me to the promise of being sober and not just a dry drunk. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

Dec. 9, 2017 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
The way of AA is the way of fellowship. We have read a good deal about fellowship and yet it is such an important part of the AA program that it seems we cannot think too much about it. Human beings were not meant to live alone. A hermit's life is not a normal or natural one. We all need to be by ourselves at times, but we cannot really live without the companionship of others. Our natures demand it. Our lives depend largely upon it. The fellowship of AA seems to us to be the best in the world.

Do I fully appreciate what the fellowship of AA means to me?

Meditation for the Day
We are all seeking something, but many do not know what they want in life. They are seeking something because they are restless and dissatisfied, without realizing that faith in God can give an objective and a purpose to their lives. Many of us are at least subconsciously seeking for a Power greater than ourselves because that would give a meaning to our existence. If you have found that Higher Power, you can be the means of leading others aright, by showing them that their search for a meaning to life will end when they find faith and trust in God as the answer.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that my soul will lose its restlessness by finding rest in God. I pray that I may find peace of mind in the thought of God and His purpose for my life.

Hazelden Foundation