Wednesday, July 18, 2018

July 18, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Easy Does It

So, you surrendered. You let go. Now you’re ready to face a particular challenge. So you hunker down and garner all your forces. And you hit the wall again.

What’s wrong? you may ask. I’m doing all the spiritual things I’m supposed to do. And things still aren’t working, I can’t get anywhere.

Did you ever try to get a key to unlock a door, and you tried and tried, and the key just wouldn’t open it? The harder you tried, the more frustrated you became. So you stopped trying for awhile, relaxed, and tried again. Voila. The key fit perfectly and the slightest turn unlocked the door.

There’s a gentler way of being in the world, of trying things, doing things, going about our business.

Whether I’m tackling a specific project, enjoying a new relationship, or grinding through some miserable situation, my first inclination is to force myself and try too hard. If one cup of tea tastes good, I’ll drink five. If I want to express love or concern for someone, I’ll overdo it.

“If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well,” doesn’t mean if it’s worth doing, try harder and harder. Doing it well means relaxing and letting the actions unfold gently, naturally, without force. Pull back a little. Relax.

You are reading from the book:

52 Weeks of Conscious Contact © 2003 by Melody Beattie

July 18, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

" ...I felt a fear coming into my life, and I couldn't cope with it. I got so that I hid quite a bit of the time, wouldn't answer the phone, and stayed by myself as much as I could. I noticed that I was avoiding all my social friends ...I couldn't keep up with any of my other friends, and I wouldn't go to anyone's house unless I knew they drank as heavily as I did. I never knew it was the first drink that did it. I thought I was losing my mind when I realized that I couldn't stop drinking. That frightened me terribly." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part II ("Personal Stories)", Ch 2 ("Fear of Fear"), p 324.

TodayI do not have to fear the first drink that unleashes in its wake all its devastation because, today, AA has freed me from fear and all its siblings and cousins. I can claim with honesty that I have fully bowed to Step One - " ...(A)dmitted (I am) powerless ..." - and take as gospel the program's credos like "One Day at a Time," "First Things First," "Keep It Sweet and Simple" and "There for the grace of God go I." I am in recovery, I am sober and I don't need or want the first drink. Without it, I don't have to avoid friends, family or anyone else, and I don't have to be afraid to answer the phone because of some paranoid fear that it's news that I did something last night that I don't remember. Today, I am humble and loyal to the program. With it, fear is knocked out of the ballpark. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

July 18, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
Two things can spoil group unity - gossip and criticism. To avoid these divisive things, we must realize that we're all in the same boat. We're like a group of people in a lifeboat after the steamer has sunk. If we're going to be saved, we've got to pull together. It's a matter of life or death for us. Gossip and criticism are sure ways of disrupting any AA group. We're all in AA to keep sober ourselves and to help each other to keep sober. And neither gossip nor criticism helps anyone to stay sober.

Am I often guilty of gossip or criticism?

Meditation for the Day
We should try to be grateful for all the blessings we have received and which we do not deserve. Gratitude to God, for all His blessings, will make us humble. Remember that we could do little by ourselves, and now we must rely largely on God's grace in helping ourselves and others. People do not care much for those who are smug and self-satisfied or those who gossip and criticize. But people are impressed by true humility. So we should try to walk humbly at all times. Gratitude to God and true humility are what makes us effective.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may walk humbly with God. I pray that I may rely on His grace to carry me through.

Hazelden Foundation

July 18, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Reflection for the Day
Very few of us know what we really want, and none of us knows what is best for us. That knowledge is in the hands of God. This is a fact I must ultimately accept, in spite of my rebelliousness and stubborn resistance. From this day forward, I'll limit my prayers to requests for guidance, an open mind to receive it, and the strength to act upon it. To the best of my capability, I'll defer all decisions until my contact with my Higher Power has made it seemingly apparent that the decisions are right for me.

Do I "bargain" with my Higher Power, assuming that I know what's best for me?

Today I Pray
May I not try to make pacts with God. Instead, may I be a vessel, open to whatever inspiration He wishes to put into me. I pray that I will remember that God's decisions are better for me than my own fumbling plans, and that they will come to me at times I need them.

Today I Will Remember
I will not bargain with God.

Hazelden Foundation

July 18, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

It is frequently true that many of us might be better employed. A lot of good farmers and mechanics have been ruined by making doctors, lawyers or engineers out of them.

When we finally sobered up, many of us were unemployable in the profession or trade for which we had some aptitude, and the necessity of getting a job made us take the first thing that presented itself.

While we are on our Inventories, it might be well to check on our adaptability to our present jobs and, where we are wrong, endeavor to do something about it.

Hazelden Foundation

July 18, 2018 - Good morning to a terrific and great Wednesday with new faith and hope


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

July 17, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Changing destructive habits is what changes lives

People grow accustomed to habits even when they are self-destructive. We who have sought the help of Twelve Step programs were often caught in patterns of behavior that injured us or other people. We want help to change these habits or we wouldn’t be here now.

We learn at our first meeting that Twelve Step programs are both for the present day and for a lifetime. We are comforted and surprised by that. The comfort is in knowing help will always be available to us. The surprise is in having erroneously thought that we’d get “fixed” and not need the meetings forever.

It doesn’t take us long to realize the benefits of utilizing Twelve Step recovery in our daily lives. For years we repeated the same behaviors, expecting different outcomes, but that didn’t happen. Now we have a plan for living that includes Steps, slogans, friends, and support meetings – a host of new options for handling every detail of our journey. And we can see, even in a short time, that our lives are changing at last.

I can change my life if I have the willingness to use what the program is teaching me.

You are reading from the book:

A Life of My Own by Karen Casey. © 1993 by Hazelden Foundation

July 17, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Today, I absolutely must be grateful instead of crediting myself for all things good that happen today, however small. My spiritual fitness depends on humility, and humility crumbles into self-importance and egoism if I think that I and I alone worked hard and "deserve" the good and accomplishments of today. Although it is appropriate to hope that my decisions and actions contributed to some good, gratitude has to be given to my higher power for my correct decisions and actions. With AA, my spiritual and emotional foundations would not be as solid as they have become since I surrendered and set out on its charted course to recovery. Today, I am grateful to AA for empowering me with the ability to do whatever is right that returns to me in the form of something good. While I can say I grabbed the lifeline, it is that lifeline - not me - that is owed the gratitude for the good I have today. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

July 17, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
The new life of sobriety we are learning to live in AA is slowly growing on us, and we are beginning to get some of that deep peace of mind and serenity that we never thought were possible. At first we may have doubted that this could happen to us, but after any considerable length of time in AA, looking at the happy faces around us, we know that somehow it is happening to us. In fact, it cannot help happening to anyone who takes the AA program seriously day by day.

Can I see my own happiness reflected in the faces of others?

Meditation for the Day
God does not withhold His presence from you. He does not refuse to reveal more of His truth to you. He does not hold back His spirit from you. He does not withhold the strength that you need. His presence, His truth, His spirit, His strength are always immediately available to you, whenever you are fully willing to receive them. But they may be blocked off by selfishness, intellectual pride, fear, greed and materialism. We must try to get rid of these blocks and let God's spirit come in.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may remove all blocks that are keeping me from God. I pray that I may let God come into my life with power.

Hazelden Foundation

July 17, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Reflection for the Day
For my own good, I'll go to meetings and participate in discussions with an open mind that's ready to receive and accept new ideas. For my own peace of mind and comfort, I'll determinedly try to apply those new ideas to my own life. I'll remember that The Program offers me the instruction and support I can't find elsewhere. I'll seek out others who understand my problems, and I'll accept their guidance in matters which cause me discomfort and confusion.

Will I try to be willing to listen - and to share?

Today I Pray
Thank you, God, for bringing The Program into my life, and with it a better understanding of Divine Power. Help me to remember that attendance and attentiveness at meetings are all-important to continuing in this happily-discovered way of life. May I listen and share with honesty, open-mindedness and willingness.

Today I Will Remember
Here's HOW: honesty, open-mindedness, willingness.

Hazelden Foundation

July 17, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

It is not possible for man to live without emotions, and all emotions are passions. Emotions are as good as our control over them. Even those which we look upon as bad are bad only because they are not under proper control.

The Creator of man endowed him with emotions as part of the necessary equipment to live a full and useful life. We live our lives and enjoy them only to the extent we curb and regulate our feelings.

God put nothing evil in man. Man has diverted his blessings to evil purposes.

Hazelden Foundation

July 17, 2018 - Let's get rolling on a beautiful and awesome Tuesday with hope and faith


Monday, July 16, 2018

July 16, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Monday, July 16, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Dear God,
Thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy.
 — Children’s Letters to God

Sometimes we look around, assess the situation, and decide what we think we need. So we go to God and begin praying.

Out of the blue, our prayers get answered. But the answer isn’t what we requested. We were so specific, we think. Now, this – this thing – has come along. We didn’t get what we asked for. Our prayers were answered, but we got something else.

Don’t get bitter or so involved with feeling blue about not getting what you requested that you miss out on what you did receive. Wants and needs are closely connected. And all our needs, even the ones we’re not completely aware of yet, will be met. Be grateful that God knows more about what we need than we do.

Sometimes when we pray, we get what we want. Sometimes we get what we need. Accept both answers – the yes’s and the something else’s – with heartfelt gratitude. Then look around and see what your lesson and gift is.

God, help me remember to be thankful even when the gift is not quite what I expected.

You are reading from the book:

More Language of Letting Go © 2000 by Melody Beattie

July 16, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, July 16, 2018

"It would be hard to estimate how much AA has done for me. I really wanted the program, and I wanted to go along with it. I noticed that the others seemed to have such a release, a happiness, a something that I thought a person ought to have. I was trying to find the answer." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part I ("Personal Stories"), (1), p 191.

Todaygrant me the common sense to realize the answer I seek to questions about recovery and life in general is no farther away than the text and program of AA. This here, in its proper context, is that the answer is the spiritual foundation on which recovery must be cemented. Paraphrasing the quote, "I was raised in religion but born of the spirit," let me understand that I must surrender on blind faith if I still struggle with the program's concept of higher power and spirituality. But if I still require some logical argument that a stronger power for good exists, can I not say that something stronger and better exists if alcohol and its destructive power also exist? Today, any answer I seek is here, and I am here in the now. I need look no farther. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

July 16, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, July 16, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
We can believe that God is in His heaven and that He has a purpose for our lives, which will eventually work out as long as we try to live the way we believe He wants us to live. It has been said that we should "wear the world like a loose garment."  That means that nothing should seriously upset us because we have a deep, abiding faith that God will always take care of us. To us that means not to be too upset by the surface wrongness of things, but to feel deeply secure in the fundamental goodness and purpose in the universe.

Do I feel deeply secure?

Meditation for the Day
Like the shadow of a great rock in a desert land, God is your refuge from the ills of life. The old hymn says: "Rock of ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee." God can be your shelter from the storm. God's power can protect you from every temptation and defeat. Try to feel His divine power - call on it - accept it - and use it. Armed with that power, you can face anything. Each day, seek safety in God's secret place, in communion with Him. You cannot be wholly touched or seriously harmed there. God can be your refuge.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may find a haven in the thought of God. I pray that I may abide in that Strong Tower, strongly guarded.

Hazelden Foundation