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Nov. 27, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener

Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

Sorrow and happiness are mental states, but the effect they have upon our nervous system and our blood pressure is a recognized fact.

The "Atmosphere" of a hospital and its staff can lengthen or shorten the duration of an illness.

We alcoholics spent years driving nails into our coffins; let us spend today drawing those nails out.

Hazelden Foundation


Nov. 27, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time

Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

Reflection for the Day

The Program shows us how to transform the pipe-dream of our pasts into reality and a true sense of purpose, together with a growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives. It's alright to keep our head in the clouds with Him, we're taught, but our feet should remain firmly planted here on earth. Here's where other people are; here's where our work must be accomplished.

Do I see anything incompatible between spirituality and a useful life in the here and now?

Today I Pray

May my new "reality" include not only the nuts and bolts and pots and pans of daily living, but also my spiritual reality, my growing knowledge of the presence of God. May this new reality have room, too, for my dreams - not the drug-induced, mind-drifting fantasies of the past or the remnants of my delusions - but the products of a healthy imagination. May I respect these dreams, anchor them in earth's possibilities and turn them into useful creativity.

Today I Will Remember

Heaven has a place in the here-and-now.

Hazelden Foundation


Nov. 27, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

AA Thought for the Day

The way of AA is the way of sobriety, fellowship, service and faith. Let us take up each one of these things and see if our feet are truly on the way. The first and greatest to us is sobriety. The others are built on sobriety as a foundation. We could not have the others if we did not have sobriety. We all come to AA to get sober, and we stay to help others get sober. We are looking for sobriety first, last and all the time. We cannot build any decent kind of a life unless we stay sober.

Am I on the AA way?

Meditation for the Day

To truly desire to do God's will, therein lies happiness for a human being. We start out wanting our own way. We want our wills to be satisfied. We take and we do not give. Gradually we find that we are not happy when we are selfish, so we begin to make allowances for other peoples' wills. But this again does not give us full happiness, and we begin to see that the only way to be truly happy is to try to do God's will. In these times of meditation, we seek to get guidance so that we can find God's will for us.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may subordinate my will to the will of God. I pray that I may be guided today to find His will for me.

Hazelden Foundation


Nov. 27, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step

Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014 

"There may be some wrongs we can never fully right. We don't worry about them if we can honestly say to ourselves that we would right them if we could. Some people cannot be seen - we send them an honest letter. And there may be a valid reason for postponement in some cases. But we don't delay if it can be avoided. We should be sensible, tactful, considerate and humble without being servile or scraping." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 6 ("Into Action"), p 83.

 Today, I can't worry or take on guilt if I determine in absolute honesty that making an amend to someone I have hurt will further injure them or someone else. This is a vital qualifier of the Ninth Step - that we make amends directly "except when to do so would injure them or others." But this isn't a pass from making amends or accepting responsibility. It is possible to postpone making an amend if an immediate one inflicts hurt. It is just as possible that I can never make amends to someone if that person cannot be found or is no longer available. In any case, if for no one other than myself, I can make "indirect" amends by admitting my wrong in writing, in a private journal even if no one else will read it. In doing that, I am at least giving voice to a silent wrong. The benefit could be that the guilt or fear of being "caught" is powerless because I have admitted my wrong and responsibility. If today I take the Ninth Step, I must temper my "confession" with the qualification that an act of atonement now could do what the Ninth warns against - inflicting further hurt. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

Nov. 26, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

In our drinking days, fear of everything and everybody was our constant companion. These fears continued until we finally, in desperate necessity, found the courage to surrender - to quit unconditionally. Then we found AA and a ray of Hope. Hope became desire, desire became determination. With necessity as our charger and with determination as our lance, we were adequately armed to overcome our despair.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 26, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

Reflection for the Day
During our first days in The Program, we got rid of alcohol and pills. We had to get rid of our chemicals, for we knew they surely would have killed us. We got rid of the addictive substances, but we couldn't get rid of our addictions until we took further actions. So we also had to learn to toss self-pity, self-justifications, self-righteousness and self-will straight out the window. We had to get off the rickety ladder that supposedly led to money, property and prestige. And we had to take personal responsibility. To gain enough humility and self-respect to stay alive at all, we had to give up our most valued possessions - our ambition and our pride.

Am I well rid of the weights and chains that once bound me?

Today I Pray
May I give credit to my Higher Power not only for removing my addiction, but for teaching me to remove my old demanding, pushy "self" from all my spiritual and earthly relationships. For all the things I have learned and unlearned, for my own faith and for the grace of God, I am fully and heartily thankful.

Today I Will Remember
Gratitude for the grace of God.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 26, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
Continuing our thoughts about the rewards that have come to us as a result of our new way of living, we have found we have got rid of many of our fears, resentments, inferiority complexes, negative points of view, self-centeredness, criticism of others, over-sensitiveness, inner conflicts, the habits of procrastination, undisciplined sex, wasting money, boredom, false perfectionism, jealousy and envy of others. We are glad to be rid of our drinking, and we are also very glad to be rid of these other things. We can now go forward in the new way of life, as shown us by AA.

Am I ready to go forward in the new life?

Meditation for the Day
"He that has eyes to see, let him see." To the seeing eye, the world is good. Pray for a seeing eye, to see the purpose of God in everything good. Pray for enough faith to see God's care in His dealings with you. Try to see how He has brought you safely through your past life so that now you can be of use in the world. With the eyes of faith, you can see God's care and purpose everywhere.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may have a seeing eye. I pray that with the eye of faith I may see God's purpose everywhere.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 26, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

"Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery. A kindly act once in a while isn't enough. You have to act the Good Samaritan every day, if need be. It may mean the loss of many nights' sleep, great interference with your pleasures, interruptions to your business. It may mean sharing your money and your home, counseling frantic (spouses) and relatives, innumerable trips to police courts, sanitariums, hospitals, jails and asylums. Your telephone may jangle at any time of the day or night. ...A drunk may smash the furniture in your home, or burn a mattress. You may have to fight with him if he is violent. Sometimes you will have to call a doctor and administer sedatives under his direction." Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 7 ("Working With Others"), p 97.

Today, just as I was responsible for the consequences of my drinking, so I am also responsible to the benefits of sobriety and recovery. Both sobriety and recovery are a gift, and they require nurturing and work to grow. "(T)he foundation stone of ...recovery" is helping others, that is 12th-stepping by carrying the AA message to others who need and want it. But in our work, we must understand that we are also required to stress individual obligation to the gift of sobriety, that it is neither a right nor given without responsibility. The work of the truly effective and committed 12th-stepper is seldom limited to just talking to someone who cries for help. But the work to carry the message and in the process holding onto it is nowhere near the work needed to get and stay drunk. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

Nov. 25, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

Probably the first permanent benefit we received in AA was received when we undertook a personal inventory of ourselves. Then for the first time our faults were dragged out into the open where we could meet them face to face and endeavor to do something about them.

Had we not recognized these defects, we would never have taken steps to eradicate them. It is dead certain that if we still had them in the same degree, we would not now be sober. It was a definite step toward getting wise to ourselves.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 25, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

Reflection for the Day
"What you have may seem small; you desire so much more. See children thrusting their hands into a narrow-necked jar, striving to pull out the sweets. If they fill the hand, they cannot pull it out and then they fall to tears. When they let go a few, they can draw out the rest. You, too, let your desire go; covet not too much ..." - Epictetus

Let me expect not too much of anyone, particularly myself. Let me learn to settle for less than I wish were possible, and be willing to accept it and appreciate it.

Do I accept gratefully and graciously the good that has already come to me in the Program?

Today I Pray
May I search my soul for those little hankerings of want which may keep me from delighting in all that I have. If I can just teach myself not to want too much, not to expect too much, then when those expectations are not satisfied, I will not be let down. May I accept with grace what the grace of God has provided.

Today I Will Remember
I, alone, can grant myself the "freedom from want."

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 25, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
I am not so envious of other people, nor am I so jealous of other people's possessions and talents. When I was drinking, I was secretly full of jealousy and envy of those people who could drink normally, who had the love and respect of their families, who lived a normal life and were accepted as equals by their friends. I pretended to myself that I was as good as they were, but I knew it wasn't so. Now I don't have to be envious any more. I try not to want what I don't deserve. I'm content with what I have earned by my efforts to live the right way. More power to those who have what I have not. At least, I'm trying.

Have I got rid of the poison of envy?

Meditation for the Day
"My soul is restless till it finds its rest in Thee." A river flows on, until it loses itself in the sea. Our spirits long for rest in the Spirit of God. We yearn to realize a peace, a rest, a satisfaction that we have never found in the world or its pursuits. Some are not conscious of their need and shut the doors of their spirits against the spirit of God. They are unable to have true peace.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may feel the divine unrest. I pray that my soul may find its rest in God.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 25, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

Today, when we are taught by tradition to be thankful, let me know that simply voicing gratitude is not sufficient and the measure and extent of that gratitude is reflected in my actions. Today, then, let me not be content with merely saying I am grateful and show me how to express it in action and behavior, that is, to walk the walk while I talk the talk. If today someone for whom I say I am grateful is in need of my time or if I am called upon to make some sacrifice such as missing part of a football game or giving up the holiday dinner dessert, let me be willing to do so without reservation. We are compelled in the 12th Step to put our program into action by being in service to others even if it might inconvenience us. If today I am called upon to do something that slows or impedes my schedule and I refuse the call, I will fail as an effective 12th-stepper and, later, I will probably regret not answering the call. Today, if I am asked to be thankful, let me go a step further and express my gratitude in action. And, today, that I am clean and sober is literally everything. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

Nov. 24, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, Nov. 24, 2014

Every practicing alcoholic is firmly convinced that the Devil has all the good tunes. It was the music we had wanted and the tunes to which we had attuned our ears. His music was louder, more catchy and, to our thinking, was prettier. We suspected, however, that it did not have the soul-satisfying qualities that make good music.

We must learn all over again to train our senses to appreciate those things which are really good and not cheap imitations.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 24, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, Nov. 24, 2014

Reflection for the Day
Although we came into The Program to deal with a specific problem, we soon became aware that we would find not only freedom from addiction, but freedom to live in the real world without fear and frustration. We learned that the solutions are within ourselves. With the help of my Higher Power, I can enrich my life with comfort, enjoyment and deep-down serenity.

Am I changing from my own worst enemy to my own best friend?

Today I Pray
May I praise my Higher Power for my freedoms - from addiction, from spiritual bankruptcy, from loneliness, from fear, from the seesaw of pride, from despair, from delusions, from shallowness, from doom. I give thanks for the way of life that has given me these freedoms and replaced the empty spaces with extra goodness and peace of mind.

Today I Will Remember
To give thanks for all my freedoms.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 24, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Nov. 24, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
Instead of pretending to be perfectionists, in AA we are content if we are making progress. The main thing is to be growing. We realize that perfectionism is only a result of false pride and an excuse to save our faces. In AA, we are willing to make mistakes and to stumble, provided we are always stumbling forward. We are not so interested in what we are as in what we are becoming. We are on the way, not at the goal. And we will be on the way as long as we live. No AA has ever "arrived." But we are getting better.

Am I making progress?

Meditation for the Day
Each new day brings an opportunity to do some little thing that will help to make a better world, that will bring God's kingdom a little nearer to being realized on earth. Take each day's happenings as opportunities for something you can do for God. In that spirit, a blessing will attend all that you do. Offering this day's service to God, you are sharing in His work. You do not have to do great things.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that today I may do the next thing, the unselfish thing, the loving thing. I pray that I may be content with doing small things as long as they are right.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 24, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, Nov. 24, 2014

Today, I do not place too much significance on how many 24 Hours of sobriety I have, whether it be a single 24 Hours or five years' worth. All of us who follow or practice an AA program have only a day-to-day reprieve from where we once were, and those with years of sobriety are no further from a slip or relapse than those whose last drink was yesterday. This is not to say there is no benefit to being sober in terms of months or years; the major benefit is that we may need that long simply to emerge from the alcoholic fog, from the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual damage that we self-inflicted. And this is no overnight journey. But once we emerge from the fog, we may be better equipped to grasp the vision of the program and put it to work. Yet even when we move from being dry to sober and embark on the journey to recovery, we are not insulated from surrendering in one foolish and potentially deadly second to temptation or craving, or to some emotion we don't want to feel. Today, I am sincerely grateful for how many 24 Hours since my last drink. But I cannot risk the folly that it is promised tomorrow. That is why, today, we take everything one thing at a time, one day at a time, one step at a time. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

Nov. 23, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

Isn't it strange to note the absence of a lot of our old pre-AA friends over the weekend? We have not offended them, surely, and we are just as good friends as we used to be but, somehow, they don't call on us with the same regularity. The answer is simple - the bar is closed.

Now home is what it should be, and the people who do call do so because they like us and not just to get a drink.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 23, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

Reflection for the Day
Before I came to The Program, I was like an actor who insisted on writing the script, producing, directing and, in short, running the whole show. I had to do it my way, forever trying to arrange and re-arrange the lights, lines, sets and, most of all, the other players' performances. If only my arrangements would stay put, and people would behave as I wished, the show would be fantastic. My self-delusion led me to believe that if they all would just shape up, everything would be fine. Of course, it never worked out that way.

Isn't it amazing how others seem to be "shaping up" now that I've stopped trying to manage everything and everybody?

Today I Pray
May I talk myself out of that old urge to control everything and everybody. Time was, if I couldn't manage directly, I would do it indirectly, through manipulation, secret conferences and asides. May I know that if I am the one who is always pulling the strings on the marionettes, then I am also the one who feels the frustration when they collapse or slip off the stage.

Today I Will Remember
I can only "shape up" myself.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 23, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
I no longer refuse to do anything because I cannot do it to perfection. Many of us alcoholics use the excuse of not being able to do something perfectly to enable us to do nothing at all. We pretend to be perfectionists. We are good at telling people how a thing should be done, but when we come to the effort of doing it ourselves, we balk. We say to ourselves: "I might make a mistake, so I'd better let the whole thing slide." In AA, we set our goals high, but that does not prevent us from trying. The mere fact that we will never fully reach these goals does not prevent us from doing the best we can.

Have I stopped hiding behind the smoke-screen of perfectionism?

Meditation for the Day
"In the world ye shall have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world." Keep an undaunted spirit. Keep your spirit free and unconquered. You can be undefeated and untouched by failure and all its power, by letting your spirit overcome the world; rise above earth's turmoil into the secret chamber of perfect peace and confidence. When a challenge comes to you, remember you have God's help and nothing can wholly defeat you.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may have confidence and be of good cheer. I pray that I may not fear the power of failure.

Hazelden Foundation

Nov. 23, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

Today, I respect the virtue of patience and loosen my grip on a character defect that can be as crippling as any other - impatience. Whether I am new to the Program or have worked it for countless 24 Hours, may I understand in expecting too much too soon that recovery requires growth - and growth is not a one-time "event" but an ever-evolving dynamic. If today I am tempted to drink or shoot up, I will pray for patience. I have the 12 steps to overcome a potential relapse and my own history to know where impatience has taken me before. And let me know that the temptation to slip will pass, as all things do. But the temptation will not pass if I feed it. If people in my life do not live up to what I expect of them or in the time I think they should, let me use patience to ask myself if I am unfairly asking something of someone else and, if not, grant me patience to "allow" others to do it in their own time. If something looms for me three weeks in the future, let me not fret today or any other today for the next three weeks for I risk igniting other potentially crippling emotions, including anger, resentment and a blow-up like a pressure cooker left unattended. Today, let me recognize that impatience can be as deadly as any other that is common in AA discussion and that I need to respect life evolving on its time schedule, not mine. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

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Previous Posts
Nov. 27, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted November 27th, 2014
Nov. 27, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted November 27th, 2014
Nov. 27, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted November 27th, 2014
Nov. 27, 2014 - Step by Step, posted November 27th, 2014
Nov. 26, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted November 26th, 2014
Nov. 26, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted November 26th, 2014
Nov. 26, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted November 26th, 2014
Nov. 26, 2014 - Step by Step, posted November 26th, 2014
Nov. 25, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted November 25th, 2014
Nov. 25, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted November 25th, 2014
Nov. 25, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted November 25th, 2014
Nov. 25, 2014 - Step by Step, posted November 25th, 2014
Nov. 24, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted November 24th, 2014
Nov. 24, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted November 24th, 2014
Nov. 24, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted November 24th, 2014
Nov. 24, 2014 - Step by Step, posted November 24th, 2014
Nov. 23, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted November 23rd, 2014
Nov. 23, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted November 23rd, 2014
Nov. 23, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted November 23rd, 2014
Nov. 23, 2014 - Step by Step, posted November 23rd, 2014
Nov. 22, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted November 22nd, 2014
Nov. 22, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted November 22nd, 2014
Nov. 22, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted November 22nd, 2014
Nov. 22, 2014 - Step by Step, posted November 22nd, 2014
Nov. 21, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted November 21st, 2014
Nov. 21, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted November 21st, 2014
Nov. 21, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted November 21st, 2014
Nov. 21, 2014 - Step by Step, posted November 21st, 2014
Nov. 20, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted November 20th, 2014
Nov. 20, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted November 20th, 2014
Nov. 20, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted November 20th, 2014
Nov. 20, 2014 - Step by Step, posted November 20th, 2014
Nov. 19, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted November 19th, 2014
Nov. 19, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted November 19th, 2014
Nov. 19, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted November 19th, 2014
Nov. 19, 2014 - Step by Step, posted November 19th, 2014
Nov. 18, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted November 18th, 2014
Nov. 18, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted November 18th, 2014
Nov. 18, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted November 18th, 2014
Nov. 18, 2014 - Step by Step, posted November 18th, 2014
Nov. 17, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted November 17th, 2014
Nov. 17, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted November 17th, 2014
Nov. 17, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted November 17th, 2014
Nov. 17, 2014 - Step by Step, posted November 17th, 2014
Nov. 16, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted November 16th, 2014
Nov. 16, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted November 16th, 2014
Nov. 16, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted November 16th, 2014
Nov. 16, 2014 - Step by Step, posted November 16th, 2014
Nov. 15, 2014 - Step by Step, posted November 15th, 2014
Nov. 15, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted November 15th, 2014
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