Thursday, June 21, 2018

June 21, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Thursday, June 21, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And never a word said she;
But, Oh, the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me!
 — Robert Browning Hamilton

We may think that forgetting the past is essential for growth and peace of mind. It’s a tempting idea: we’ll start over again, we think, fresh and new. But if we lose that old pain, we’ll also lose all that we learned. We may repeat our mistakes, or make even worse ones next time. Dwelling on the past is equally dangerous. We began recovery to build a better life.

To find and maintain our balance, each area of our lives needs attention. A healthy mind in a healthy body is free to find God. And, with God’s help, we can learn to recognize and forgive our past mistakes, while we keep the remarkable lessons we learned from life.

With our remembering, with our inventory, we can truly experience the repentance that frees us from regret and remorse. When we acknowledge our mistakes, we can learn from them and come to forgive ourselves.

Today help me use my memories to learn and change. Help me to forgive my past.

You are reading from the book:

Body, Mind, and Spirit © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation

June 21, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, June 21, 2018

"The wars which had been fought, the burnings and chicanery that religious dispute had facilitated, made me sick. I honestly doubted whether, on balance, the religions of mankind had done any good. Judging from what I had seen in Europe and since, the power of God in human affairs was negligible, the Brotherhood of Man a grim jest. If there was a Devil, he seemed the Boss Universal, and he certainly had me." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 1 ("Bill's Story"), p 11.

Today, do not reject the possibility that a Higher Power of good can exist despite all the bad - even evil - that we see every day. Cynicism may block willingness to believe that something stronger and better than ourselves can exist to set us toward sobriety and recovery. Perhaps a beginning is to understand the distinction between religion and spirituality and that the two are parallel but never intersect. We are not ask to believe in any religious code but come to find a Higher Power of our understanding. How do we reconcile the bad that surrounds us, including wars and all other affairs? If we can accept that one of our most precious collective gifts is the freedom of choice, is it not plausible that the state of man is a direct consequence of our choices individually and collectively? If so, cannot what is bad around us be the consequence of our self-will run riot and not because of a punitive god? Today, I set out to find my Higher Power of my understanding, not of man's religious edict. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

June 21, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, June 21, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
Intelligent faith in that Power greater than ourselves can be counted on to stabilize our emotions. It has an incomparable capacity to help us look at life in balanced perspective. We look up, around and away from ourselves, and we see that nine out of 10 things which at the moment upset us will shortly disappear. Problems solve themselves, criticism and unkindness vanish as though they had never been.

Have I got the proper perspective toward life?

Meditation for the Day
A truly spiritual man or woman would like to have a serene mind. The only way to keep calm in this troubled world is to have a serene mind. The calm and sane mind sees spiritual things as the true realities and material things as only temporary and fleeting. That sort of mind you can never obtain by reasoning, because your reasoning powers are limited by space and time. That kind of a mind you can never obtain by reading, because other minds are also limited in the same way. You can only have that mind by an act of faith, by making the venture of belief.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may have a calm and sane mind. I pray that I may look up, around and away from myself.

Hazelden Foundation

June 21, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Thursday, June 21, 2018

Reflection for the Day
"Direct" is a key word in the Ninth Step. There are times, unfortunately, where many of us are hopeful that indirect amends will suffice, sparing us the pain and supposed humiliation of approaching people in person and telling them of our wrongs. This is evasion and will never give us a true sense of breaking with the wrongdoings of the past. It shows that we're still trying to defend something that isn't worth defending, hanging on to conduct that we ought to abandon. The usual reasons for sidestepping direct amends are pride and fear.

As I make amends to others, do I realize that the real, lasting benefits accrue to me?

Today I Pray
May I be sure that the best reward for coming on straight as I try to repair my damages is, after all, my own. But may I avoid making amends purely for my own benefit - to be forgiven, to be reinstated, to flaunt the "new me." Ego-puffing and people-pleasing are not part of the real "new me." God save me from opportunism.

Today I Will Remember
No puffery or people-pleasing.

Hazelden Foundation

June 21, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, June 21, 2018

We alcoholics have lived in two entirely different worlds that were separated only by an act of decision.

One day we lived in a world filled with hostile people, a world devoid of understanding and sympathy; a world of ugliness, suffering and despair. By this act of decision, a new day was created and we were transported into a different world.

If you would change the world, change yourself.

Hazelden Foundation

June 21, 2018 - Good morning to a beautiful and totally loving far-out Thursday


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

June 20, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Today’s thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Baseball teaches us, or has taught most of us, how to deal with failure. We learn at a very young age that failure is the norm in baseball and … errors [are] part of the game, part of its rigorous truth.
 — Francis T. Vincent, Jr.

Of course we will make mistakes. We are born with the right to make mistakes. There is no shame in that. Perfection is a false ideal for a real human being. We learn by trial and error. If we try to be perfect, we will meet dead ends and roadblocks because we will inevitably fall short.

Instead, there is wisdom in the motto “Keep coming back.” In this instance, the motto refers to returning to our standards. Rather than to strive constantly for higher and higher perfection, our goal is to always return to the rules we live by. Of course we will veer off the path. When we do, we make repairs, pay our dues, and hold our place as full-fledged members of the human race.

Today my goal is to keep returning to my ethics for a good life.

You are reading from the book:

Wisdom to Know © 2005 by Hazelden Foundation

June 20, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

"It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater than myself. Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning. I saw that growth could start from that point. Upon a foundation of complete willingness I might build what I saw ..." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 1 ("Bill's Story"), p 12.

Todaya leap of blind faith searching for a power greater than myself, if I am still struggling with the concept of a Higher Power. Just as I was warned repeatedly in my drinking days that my spouse or partner would leave me, that I would be fired if I showed up at work drunk again if I even showed up at all, or my next DUI would be elevated to a felony, AA's co-founders and early members warn that I absolutely must come to believe in something stronger and greater than myself if I have a prayer for sobriety and recovery. In my drinking days, I didn't yield to many of the warnings, and the outcome that was promised because I didn't stop drinking became fact. Today, I yield to the warnings of the voices of experience and become at least willing to believe. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

June 20, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
You should be ready and willing to carry the AA message when called upon to do so. Live for some purpose greater than yourself. Each day you will have something to work for. You have received so much from this program that you should have a vision that gives your life a direction and purpose that gives meaning to each new day. Let us not slide along through life. Let us have a purpose for each day and let us make that purpose for something greater than just ourselves.

What is my purpose for today?

Meditation for the Day
To see God with eyes of faith is to cause God's power to manifest itself in the material world. God cannot do His work because of unbelief. In response to your belief, God can work a miracle in your personality. All miracles happen in the realm of personality and all are caused by and based on belief in God's never-failing power. But God's power cannot manifest itself in personalities, unless those personalities make His power available by their faith. We can only see God with the eyes of faith, but this kind of seeing produces a great change in our way of living.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may see God with the eyes of faith. I pray that this seeing will produce a change in my personality.

Hazelden Foundation

June 20, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Reflection for the Day
When we take the Ninth Step, we must be willing to be absolutely honest. Obviously, though, indiscriminate "absolute honesty" would blow the roof off many a house and entirely destroy some relationships. We must hold nothing back through deceit and pride; we may need to hold something back by discretion and consideration of others. Just when and how we tell the truth - or keep silent - can often reveal the difference between genuine integrity and none at all.

Am I grateful for the products of truth which, through the grace of God, I have been privileged to receive?

Today I Pray
May I have the wisdom to know the fine-line difference between tact and dishonesty. In my eagerness to make restitution, may I not be the charmer, the flatterer or the crawler who insists, "You're so good, and I'm so bad." All are forms of dishonesty and hark back to the role-playing days of my active addiction. May I recognize them.

Today I Will Remember
Tact is honest selectivity.

Hazelden Foundation

June 20, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Centuries ago a man learned to ignite wood artificially. No one in the world today knows his name, but all modern inventions are directly or indirectly traceable to his act. What his name is doesn't matter, but every skyscraper in the world is his monument. His name perished as all names are apt to do, but his almost juvenile act of starting fire by friction will live as long as civilization does.

A single word you utter might kindle a fire that would burn through the ages.

Hazelden Foundation

June 20, 2018 - Let's get rockin' on a beautiful and awesome Hump Day Wednesday


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

June 19, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Forgiveness is all-powerful. Forgiveness heals all ills.
 — Catherine Ponder

Getting mad at someone, a friend perhaps, is normal. Everybody gets mad sometimes. But when we stay mad for very long, it ruins all the fun we’d planned on having throughout the day. Staying mad multiplies. Sometimes it seems we are mad at the dog, our mom, another friend, even the TV.

Forgiving the people we’re mad at works like magic. We don’t even have to forgive them out loud. We can forgive them in our own minds. The result is the same. Pretty soon the whole day looks bright again. When we’re mad, we are the ones who suffer most.

Who can I forgive today, and make my day a better one?

You are reading from the book:

Today’s Gift © 1985, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

June 19, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

" ...(O)ur troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn't think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us!" - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 5 ("How It Works"), p 62.

Today, believe and accept that my troubles are of my own creation and that selfishness is the binding tie. Before and during my drinking days, I ran my life on my terms, my rules, my wants, needs, expectations and desires. And always, the results were disastrous and, if I am to be thoroughly honest, grew progressively worse. To whom or what, then, do I entrust my life if I can't run it? Herein is the introduction to the concept of a Higher Power, an entity stronger than I, or God as we understand Him. And even if I do not or cannot yet believe in a Higher Power or God, my willingness to at least be open to the possibility is a beginning - toward humility. Today, I am open to the possibility that something higher and wiser than I can run my life better than me. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2018

June 19, 2018 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

AA Thought for the Day
We have this choice every day of our lives. We can take the path that leads to insanity and death. And remember, our next drunk could be our last one. Or we can take the path that leads to a reasonably happy and useful life. The choice is ours each day of our lives. God grant that we take the right path.

Have I made my choice today?

Meditation for the Day
Your real work in life is to grow spiritually. To do this you must follow the path of diligently seeking good. The hidden spiritual wonders are revealed to those who diligently seek this treasure. From one point to the next, you have to follow the way of obedience to God's will until finally you reach greater and greater spiritual heights. Work on the material plane should be secondary to your real life's work. The material things which you need most are those which help you to attain the spiritual.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may keep growing spiritually. I pray that I may make this my real life's work.

Hazelden Foundation