Thursday, September 21, 2017

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

Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Seeking growth

We are where we are for a reason. As long as that reason remains, we remain where we are. If we aren't where we think we should be, working the program will help us get to where our deepest self longs to be. This is growth.

And growth is work. We must be willing to do the simple things that our new understanding asks of us. We are never given more than we can handle, and the loving help we need along the way is always available. But we never get this help in advance, only as we need it.

Am I seeking growth?

Higher Power, help me want to grow and be willing to do the simple things, day by day, that add up to big changes.
You are reading from the book:
Day by Day © 1974, 1998 by Hazelden Foundation

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

Step by Step
Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017

"...(W)e launched out on a course of vigorous action, the first step of which is a personal housecleaning, which many of us had never attempted. Though our decision was a vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us. Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.
'Therefore, we started upon a personal inventory. This was Step Four." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 5 ("How It Works"), pp 63-4.

Todaycourage and honesty to face alcoholism as a symptom of the "causes and conditions" of my addictive personality, and knowledge to treat those causes rather than just the symptoms. Courage, honesty and willingness are the prerequisite of the Fourth Step because, without all three, recovery from addiction cannot be fully realized and may set us up for failure by way of a relapse or simply trading one addiction for another. For many of us, drinking developed after years of hoarding emotional and spiritual garbage, and the pile grew in our drinking days. In coming to the decision that we no longer want and are eager to clean out the garbage, we may be on a solid foundation to make our Fourth Step as thorough as it can be. Grant that we be graced with the courage and strength to make our house as clean as it can be. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Let us continue with Steps Four, Five, Six, Seven and Ten. In taking a personal inventory of ourselves, we have to face facts as they really are. We have to stop running away. We must face reality. We must see ourselves as we really are. We must admit our faults openly and try to correct them. We must try to see where we have been dishonest, impure, selfish and unloving. We do not do this once and forget it. We do it every day of our lives, as long as we live. We are never done with checking up on ourselves.

Am I taking a daily inventory of myself?

Meditation for the Day
In improving our personal lives, we have Unseen help. We were not made so that we could see God. That would be too easy for us and there would be no merit in obeying Him. It takes an act of Faith, a venture of belief, to realize the Unseen Power. Yet we have much evidence of God's existence in the strength that many people have received from the act of faith, the venture of belief. We are in a box of space and time and we can see neither our souls nor God. God and the human spirit are both outside the limitations of space and time. Yet our Unseen help is effective here and now. That has been proved in thousands of changed lives.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may make the great venture of belief. I pray that my vision may not be blocked by intellectual pride.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017

Reflection for the Day
I've heard it said that when God closes a door, He opens a window. Since I started working the Twelve Steps, much of the fear and pain that haunted my life is gone. Some of my defects have been lifted from me, though I'm still wrestling with others. I believe that if I continue to work the Twelve Steps over and over again, my life will continue to improve - physically, mentally and spiritually.

Am I more willing and better able to help others by working the Steps myself?

Today I Pray
I give thanks to God for showing me that the Twelve Steps are a stairway to a saner life. As I re-work them conscientiously, my life does get better, healthier and nearer to my Higher Power. As I continue to live them, may I feel the same gratitude and exaltation of spirit as those who are just now discovering them.

Today I Will Remember
Step by Step, day by day.

Hazelden Foundation

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

The Eye Opener
Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017

If most of us had one wish, we'd wish we hadn't had it. Most of all, our difficulties in the past resulted from our persistence in doing what we wished. To us alcoholics, our wishes were paramount and everything else was sacrificed in order to accomplish them.

From here on in, if we are smart, our wishes will be not what we want, but a sincere desire to want what God wishes.

Hazelden Foundation

Sept. 21, 2017 - Rise 'n shine for a Thursday of new faith, hope, courage and strength


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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

Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
Un-abling
It is not helping my child if I do things for him that he can (and should) do for himself. Instead, by diminishing expectations, I diminish his capabilities. I am un-abling.
Un-abling means that I am helping to make the son I am "helping" unable to manage his task--or his life--on his own. It is crossing boundaries, reducing responsibilities, removing consequences, and cheating him of things adults need to learn in order to live (and love) life on their own. It's providing an escape hatch from the realities of life.
So, I will not give in, hand out, set up, or fix up my child's messes and catastrophes until I am, inevitably, unable to enable. (Or unwilling. Or burned out.) I will not help to leave my child so un-abled that he is unable to handle the business of running whatever is left of his life--after he's endured a lifetime of my un-abling. (What happens to my child if he never learns how to rescue himself?) All I can (and should) do is help him to get the help he needs to help himself. That, and love him.
If he sneezes, I'm not the one who should leap for a tissue. And I'm not the one who should want to.
You are reading from the book:
Tending Dandelions © 2017 by Sandra Swenson

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

Step by Step
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017

"To most of us, making amends will take the rest of our lives, but we can start immediately. Just being sober will be making amends to many we have hurt by our drunken actions. Making amends is sometimes doing what we are capable of doing but failed to do because of alcohol; carrying out community responsibilities such as Community Funds, Red Cross, educational and religious activities in proportion to our abilities and energies." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "They Stopped in Time," Ch 10 ("It Might Have Been Worse"), pp 381-82.

Today, I know I owe amends not only for what I have done but for what I didn't do. If in my drinking days, or even now, I neglected to be a faithful spouse or partner, a nurturing parent, a productive employee or if I have failed to let go of a litany of character defects, atoning for failing to do what I should have done is as important as atoning for what I did do and shouldn't have. To many people and in many cases, direct amends are not and may never be possible. But I can pray that my strongest and sincerest amend is to work for and remain sober. This is why we, the people of AA, are here. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Step Four is, "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." Step Five is, "Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." Step Six is, "Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character." Step Seven is, "Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings." Step Ten is, "Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it." In taking a personal inventory, we have to be absolutely honest with ourselves and with other people.

Have I taken an honest inventory of myself?

Meditation for the Day
God is good. You can often tell whether or not a thing is of God. If it is of God, it must be good. Honesty, purity, unselfishness and love are all good, unselfish helpfulness is good, and these things all lead to the abundant life. Leave in God's hands the present and the future, knowing only that He is good. The hand that veils the future is the hand of God. He can bring order out of chaos, good out of evil, and peace out of turmoil. We can believe that everything really good comes from God and that He shares His goodness with us.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may reach out for the good. I pray that I may try to choose the best in life.

Hazelden Foundation

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

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017

Reflection for the Day
"When a man has reached a condition in which he believed that a thing must happen when he does not wish it, and that which he wishes to happen can never be, this is really the state called desperation." Schopenhauer

The very real pain of emotional difficulties is sometimes very hard to take while we're trying to maintain sobriety. Yet we learn, in time, that overcoming such problems is the real test of the Program's way of living.

Do I believe that adversity gives me more opportunity to grow than does comfort or success?

Today I Pray
May I believe firmly that God, in His infinite wisdom, does not send me those occasional moments of emotional stress in order to tease my sobriety, but to challenge me to grow in my control and my conviction. May I learn not to be afraid of emotional summits and canyons for the Program has outfitted me for all kinds of terrain.

Today I Will Remember
Strength through adversity.

Hazelden Foundation

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

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017

The troubles of the backwoods mountaineer are just as big and just as numerous to him as yours are to you. They seldom crack up mentally, however, because they have no "experts" to cure them of their present worries by finding things wrong that they never suspected before, thus giving them a brand-new crop of worries.

We often worry ourselves into the psychiatrist's office and then worry ourselves into another when we get the first one's bill.

Hazelden Foundation

Sept. 20, 2017 - Good morning to a beautiful Wednesday and renewed faith, hope, strength and courage


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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

Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
One deceit needs many others, and so the whole house is built in the air and must soon come crashing down. 
 -- Baltasar Gracian
If we are honest about our addiction, we know how it can drive us into secrecy. At first came the little lie - about missing an appointment or coming home late. Then the lie to cover the lie, and then the lies to try to escape from the web of lies that entangled us within our deceit. We couldn't look our loved one in the eye, we couldn't risk the truth, and so we lied again and again. Finally the sad day came when we grew comfortable in our little isolated world of fantasy and deception.
Our life became a house of cards, a pack of lies. We couldn't make an honest, open move for fear of bringing the whole thing tumbling down around our ears. And usually we were not the only ones to get hurt; our spouses, lovers, children, friends, and colleagues suffered too.
We have begun to change all this, but it takes time. We need to continue to take inventory and be fearless and honest with ourselves. Each time we are honest, the lies lose their power, and finally truth comes through.
I'm tired of the web of lies I've spun around my addiction. I want to break through into honesty and truth.
You are reading from the book:
Answers in the Heart © 1989 by P. Williamson and S. Kiser

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

Step by Step
Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017

"The mental twists that led up to my drinking began many years before I ever took a drink for I am one of those whose history proves conclusively that my drinking was 'a symptom of a deeper trouble.'
'Through my efforts to get down to 'causes and conditions,' I stand convinced that my  emotional illness has been present from my earliest recollection. I never did react normally to any emotional situation." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "They Lost Nearly All," Ch 12 ("Freedom From Bondage"), p 544.

Today, knowing that my emotional and spiritual sickness preceded my alcoholism, I also know that abstaining from drinking is not enough in my recovery. Drinking was, for me, but a symptom of a "deeper trouble," and AA has to be worked and climbed step by step to cure that symptom. Without tending to the "deeper trouble," my recovery will be less sober and more like a dry drunk. Whatever my pre-drinking "deeper trouble" was - fear, anger, shame, loneliness, low or inflated self-esteem, resentment, depression or a diagnosed psychiatric condition - I need to confront and either come to terms with it or let it go. Then, and only then, can I move on with the business of sobriety and serenity. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2017

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017

AA Thought for the Day
Let us continue with Steps Two, Three and Eleven. We must turn to a Higher Power for help, because we are helpless ourselves. When we put our drink problem in God's hands and leave it there, we have made the most important decision of our lives. From then on, we trust God for the strength to keep sober. This takes us off the center of the universe and allows us to transfer our problems to a Power outside ourselves. By prayer and meditation, we seek to improve our conscious contact with God. We try to live each day the way we believe God wants us to live.

Am I trusting God for the strength to stay sober?

Meditation for the Day
"These things have I spoken unto you, that your joy may be full." Even a partial realization of the spiritual life brings much joy. You feel at home in the world when you are in touch with the Divine Spirit of the universe. Spiritual experience brings a definite satisfaction. Search for the real meaning of life by following spiritual laws. God wants you to have spiritual success and He intends that you have it. If you live your life as much as possible according to spiritual laws, you can expect your share of joy and peace, satisfaction and success.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I will find happiness in doing the right thing. I pray that I will find satisfaction in obeying spiritual laws.

Hazelden Foundation