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Dec. 18, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

We must work out our spiritual development in our own way and according to our conception of the God of our understanding.

Our success or failure will be determined by the honesty of our efforts and the fidelity with which we practice our convictions.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 18, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

Reflection for the Day
I'm learning - all too slowly, at times - that when I give up the losing battle of trying to run my life in my own way, I gain abiding peace and deep serenity. For many of us, that learning process is a painfully slow one. Eventually, however, we understand that there are only two wills in the world, my will and God's. Whatever is within my direct control is my will; whatever is beyond my direct control is His will. So I try to accept that which is beyond my control as God's will for me.

Am I beginning to realize that by surrendering my will to the Divine Will, I am for the first time living without turmoil and without anxiety?

Today I Pray
May I hope that my will can be congruent with the all-encompassing will of God. I pray that I will know immediately if my will is in a useless tug-of-war with His Divine Will. May I trust God now to guide my will according to his Master Plan - and to make His purpose mine.

Today I Will Remember
Achievement comes when my will is in harmony with God's.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 18, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
Unless we have the key of faith to unlock the meaning of life, we are lost. We do not choose faith because it is one way for us, but because it is the only way. Many have failed and will fail. For we cannot live victoriously without faith; we are at sea without a rudder or an anchor, drifting on the sea of life. Wayfarers without a home. Our souls are restless until they find rest in God. Without faith, our lives are a meaningless succession of unrelated happenings, without rhyme or reason.

Have I come to rest in faith?

Meditation for the Day
This vast universe around us, including this wonderful earth on which we live, was once perhaps only a thought in the mind of God. The nearer the astronomers and the physicists get to the ultimate composition of all things, the nearer the universe approaches a mathematical formula, which is thought. The universe may be the thought of the Great Thinker. We must try to think God's thoughts after Him. We must try to get guidance from the Divine Mind as to what His intention is for the world and what part we can have in carrying out that intention.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not worry over the limitations of my human mind. I pray that I may live as though my mind were a reflection of the Divine Mind.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 18, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step

Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

Today, if the holiday season is difficult or painful for alcoholics, I choose not to focus on the losses or reasons that make the season less than what it was in the past. I will not languish in the pain or mourn the losses of people who might once have been part of happier holidays, nor will I obsess in my guilt if my behavior contributed to this season not being what it could be. Instead, I will seek out examples of other people in greater need and want than I. If for no other reason than to force my attention off myself, I will volunteer for active work with a social service agency that helps people in need especially at this time of year, or to another cause that serves something other than my own. May I understand today that my own pain, regret or losses is probably less than someone else's, and I need to be grateful that mine are no greater. Today, I choose to seek a reason to celebrate; I reject pain and sorrow. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

Dec. 17, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014

The world is a looking glass; it returns to you what you give to it. All the world and everything in it are but reflections of yourself, and if the world doesn't look good to you, rest assured, you don't look good to the world.

The words of every person you meet are but an echo of your own, and wherever you go the world will be the same unless you, yourself, change.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 17, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014

Reflection for the Day
More and more these days, as I progress in my recovery, I seem to do a lot of listening - quietly waiting to hear God's unmistakable voice within me. Prayer is becoming a two-way street - of seeking and listening, of searching and finding. A favorite bit of scripture for me is, "Be still and know that I am God."

Do I pay quiet and loving attention to Him, ever more confident of an enlightened knowledge of His will for me?

Today I Pray
As I seek to know my Higher Power, may I learn the best ways - for me - to reach and hear Him. May I begin to feel prayer, not just listen to the sound of my own verbalizing. May I feel the sharp outlines of my humanness fading as His Godliness becomes a part of me. May I feel that I am one with Him.

Today I Will Remember
Feel the stillness of God.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 17, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
The way of faith is, of course, not confined to AA. It is the way for everybody who really wants to live. But many people can go through life without much of it. Many are doing so, to their own sorrow. The world is full of lack of faith. Many people have lost confidence in any meaning in the universe. Many are wondering if it has any meaning at all. Many are at loose ends. Life has no goal for many. They are strangers in the land. They are not at home. But for us in AA, the way of faith is the way of life. We have proved by our past lives that we could not live without it.

Do I think I could live happily without faith?

Meditation for the Day
"He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends the rain on the just and the unjust." God does not interfere with the working of natural laws. The laws of nature are unchangeable, otherwise we could not depend on them. As far as natural laws are concerned, God makes no distinction between good and bad people. Sickness or death may strike anywhere. But spiritual laws are also made to be obeyed. On our choice of good or evil depends whether we go upward to true success and victory in life or downward to loss and defeat.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may choose today the way of the spiritual life. I pray that I may live today with faith and hope and love.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 17, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step

Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 

Today: A conscious decision not to say anything negative to or about anyone or about any situation in my life. Instead, I will let only the positive in and, if I cannot find anything good to say or do, I will say or do nothing. Despite any problems in my life or their enormity, I have literally everything if I am sober, and I have a start if I haven't drunk in the last 24 Hours. And I still have hope if I am drinking but have been tossed the lifeline of AA. Without sobriety or even the hope for it, other problems in my life will likely worsen simply because I'm either too drunk to deal with them or I'm trying to avoid them. And as for those other problems in my life, instead of complaining, I will deal with them as best I can and know that I have given my best. I might also learn that the positive is a much more serene place than the negative. Today, I have no time or need for the negative. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

Dec. 16, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014

Every alcoholic has at one time or another had such a load of troubles that there was surely no prospect of his ever being happy again.

On the other hand, there were moments of ecstasy that were so great that our lives seemed completely filled and no cloud could ever possibly enter our lives again.

Both conditions existed only a brief while, until another mood appeared. Both, to a great extent, are products of our state of mind. Unhappiness can be guarded against and happiness can be cultivated.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 16, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014

Reflection for the Day
Sometimes, on those bad days we all have from time to time, it almost seems that God doesn't want us to be happy here on earth and, for those of us who believe in an afterlife, that He demands pain and suffering in this life as the price of happiness in the next. The Program teaches me that just the opposite is the case. God wants me to be happy right here on earth - right now. When I allow Him to, He will even point out the way.

Do I sometimes stubbornly refuse to look where God is pointing?

Today I Pray
I pray that I am not playing the perennial sufferer, dragging around in the boots of tragedy and acting as if suffering is the only ticket to heaven. May I look around, at the goodness and greenery of earth, which is testimony enough that our life here is meant to be more than just one pitfall after another. May no misconception of God as a master trapper, waiting in every thicket to snare us, distort my relationship with a loving, forgiving Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember
There is more to life than suffering.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 16, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
The way of AA is the way of faith. We don't get the full benefit of the program until we surrender our lives to some Power greater than ourselves and trust that Power to give us the strength we need. There is no better way for us. We can get sober without it. We can stay sober for some time without it. But if we are going to truly live, we must take the way of faith in God. That is the path for us. We must follow it.

Have I taken the way of faith?

Meditation for the Day
Life is not a search for happiness. Happiness is a by-product of living the right kind of a life, of doing the right thing. Do not search for happiness, search for right living and happiness will be your reward. Life is sometimes a march of duty during dull, dark days. But happiness will come again, as God's smile of recognition of your faithfulness. True happiness is always the by-product of a life well lived.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not seek happiness but seek to do right. I pray that I may not seek pleasure so much as the things that bring true happiness.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 16, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 

Today, I will not empower anyone so strongly that their perception or opinion about me determines my sense of self-worth and security in myself and, especially, the quality of my recovery. In recovery, I can't believe my purpose is to be everything to everyone or to meet the standards they set down. The reason for recovery is to stop drinking or using and atone for any injury and hurt I might have imposed in my drinking days. In some cases, amends may not possible nor can I control if my amends will be accepted. If I find someone is unduly harsh or critical of what I am in recovery, I can first ask if the criticism is warranted and whether I should work harder on a character defect. But if I find that the criticism is not justified, I can either take it with a grain of salt or ask if the person being unduly judgmental is someone I need even care about. If I can say honestly that my Program has made me a better person and I am continuing to work the Steps toward being a better person, I can believe I am at a secure place in recovery. Today, my self-confidence will be based on an honest look at where I am in recovery, not on what someone thinks. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

Dec. 15, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step

Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 

Today, I guard against associating the quantity of my sobriety with its quality. If my recovery consists only of not drinking and I have not tended to my emotional and spiritual diseases, I am probably little more than a dry drunk. Further, I need to understand and appreciate the truth that ours is a day-to-day reprieve and that weeks, months and even years without drinking is no guarantee that I won't slip or relapse today. Even if my own sobriety dates several 24 Hours, let me understand that I am no more sober than the person whose last drink was 24 Hours ago and, likewise, that person is no less sober than I. But, if my own sobriety is several 24 Hours, let me also accept and respect the responsibility that quantity might impose: I may be asked to carry the Program's message to someone who needs and seeks it. To that extent, I owe the Program the integrity of my sobriety and pass it on to whoever seeks it. Today, I am sober 24 Hours. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

Dec. 15, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Dec. 15, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
Service to others makes the world a good place. Civilization would cease if all of us were always and only for ourselves. We alcoholics have a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the well-being of the world. We have a common problem. We find a common answer. We are uniquely equipped to help others with the same problem. What a wonderful world it would be if everybody took his own greatest problem and found the answer to it and spent the rest of his life helping others with the same problem in his spare time. Soon we would have the right kind of a world.

Do I appreciate my unique opportunity to be of service?

Meditation for the Day
Today can be lived in the consciousness of God's contact, upholding you in all good thoughts, words and deeds. If sometimes there seems to be a shadow on your life and you feel out of sorts, remember that this is not the withdrawal of God's presence but only your own temporary unwillingness to realize it. The quiet gray days are the days for doing what you must do, but know that the consciousness of God's nearness will return and be with you again, when the gray days are past.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may face the dull days with courage. I pray that I may have faith that the bright days will return.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 15, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, Dec. 15, 2014

Reflection for the Day
Some people are such worriers that they worry about the fact that they have nothing to worry about. Newcomers in The Program sometimes feel, for example, "This is much too good to last." Most of us, however, have plenty of real things to worry about - old standbys like money, health, death and taxes, to name just a few. But The Program tells us that the proven antidote to worry and fear is confidence - confidence not in ourselves but in our Higher Power.

Will I continue to believe that God can and will avert the calamity that I spend my days and nights dreading? Will I believe that if calamity does strike, God will enable me to see it through?

Today I Pray
May I realize that the worry habit - worry that grows out of broader, often unlabeled fears - will take more than time to conquer. Like many dependent people, I have lived with worry so long that it has become my constant, floor-pacing companion. May my Higher Power teach me that making a chum out of worry is a waste of my energy and fritters away my constructive hours.

Today I Will Remember
Kick the worry habit.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 15, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, Dec. 15, 2014

Faith is a fundamental requisite of success in retaining our sobriety - faith in God, faith in the Program, and faith in ourselves.

It can be likened to swimming: every normal person can swim, if he has faith in the laws of buoyancy and allows himself to be submerged enough. Those people who cannot swim are those who are afraid of the water and try to raise themselves above it.

Faith in the laws of Nature and in yourself enables you to swim, and a like faith in God, the Program and yourself will enable you to achieve our way of living.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 14, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step

Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014 

Today, and hopefully every subsequent 24 Hours, I will include discipline in my recovery Program. Let me reach back into my yesterdays to learn from my mistakes as a drinking alcoholic and temper potential flareups of those mistakes with the discipline not to act or react as I did then. While I cannot undo the damage or hurt of my mistakes then, I can prevent them from happening again by applying the discipline of changing myself. In using discipline repeatedly, I may reach the point where discipline is second-nature and something I don't have to consciously exert. This, in effect, is one of the spiritual awakenings or experiences promised if I work the 12 Steps. With discipline, grant me patience, logic over emotion, selflessness and kindness in place of intentional harm. Today, I begin to work consciously not to redo what I did wrong yesterday. Today, I expect progress from myself and not from the outside. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

Dec. 14, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
The way of AA is the way of service. Without that, it would not work. We have been "on the wagon" and hated it. We have taken the pledge and waited for the time to be up with impatience. We have tried in all manner of ways to help ourselves. But not until we begin to help other people do we get full relief. It is an axiom that the AA program has to be given away in order to be kept. A river flows into the Dead Sea and stops. A river flows into a clear pool and flows out again. We get and then we give. If we do not give, we do not keep.

Have I given up all ideas of holding AA for myself alone?

Meditation for the Day
Try to see the life of the spirit as a calm place, shut away from the turmoil of the world. Think of your spiritual home as a place full of peace, serenity and contentment. Go to this quiet, meditative place for the strength to carry you through today's duties and problems. Keep coming back here for refreshment when you are weary of the hubbub of the outside world. From this quietness and communion comes our strength.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may keep this resting place where I can commune with God. I pray that I may find refreshment in meditation on the Eternal.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 14, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014

Reflection for the Day
Some of us in The Program are inclined to make the mistake of thinking that the few moments we spend in prayer and meditation - in "talking with God" - are all that count. The truth is that the attitude we maintain throughout the entire day is just as important. If we place ourselves in God's hands in the morning, and throughout the day hold ourselves ready to accept His will as it is made known through the events of our daily life, our attitude of acceptance becomes a constant prayer.

Can I try to cultivate an attitude of total acceptance each day?

Today I Pray
May I maintain contact with my Higher Power all through my day, not just check in for a prayer now and then. May my communion with God never become merely a casual aside. May I come to know that every time I do something that is in accord with God's will I am living a prayer.

Today I Will Remember
Prayer is an attitude.

Hazelden Foundation

Dec. 14, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014

Our greatest enemy was alcohol and we have learned to how protect ourselves against it. But we are in constant danger from some of our well-meaning friends. They constantly tell us how wonderful we are in that we have cut out our drinking and, unfortunately, we sometimes believe them to the point where our heads begin to swell.

At that very moment, that very necessary ingredient of sobriety - HUMILITY - goes out the window and sobriety frequently accompanies it.

Hazelden Foundation

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Previous Posts
Dec. 18, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted December 18th, 2014
Dec. 18, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted December 18th, 2014
Dec. 18, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted December 18th, 2014
Dec. 18, 2014 - Step by Step, posted December 18th, 2014
Dec. 17, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted December 17th, 2014, 3 comments
Dec. 17, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted December 17th, 2014
Dec. 17, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted December 17th, 2014
Dec. 17, 2014 - Step by Step, posted December 17th, 2014
Dec. 16, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted December 16th, 2014
Dec. 16, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted December 16th, 2014
Dec. 16, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted December 16th, 2014
Dec. 16, 2014 - Step by Step, posted December 16th, 2014
Dec. 15, 2014 - Step by Step, posted December 15th, 2014
Dec. 15, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted December 15th, 2014
Dec. 15, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted December 15th, 2014
Dec. 15, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted December 15th, 2014
Dec. 14, 2014 - Step by Step, posted December 14th, 2014
Dec. 14, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted December 14th, 2014
Dec. 14, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted December 14th, 2014
Dec. 14, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted December 14th, 2014
Dec. 13, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted December 13th, 2014
Dec. 13, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted December 13th, 2014
Dec. 13, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted December 13th, 2014
Dec. 13, 2014 - Step by Step, posted December 13th, 2014
Dec. 12, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted December 12th, 2014
Dec. 12, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted December 12th, 2014
Dec. 12, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted December 12th, 2014
Dec. 12, 2014 - Step by Step, posted December 12th, 2014
Dec. 11, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted December 11th, 2014
Dec. 11, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted December 11th, 2014
Dec. 11, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted December 11th, 2014
Dec. 11, 2014 - Step by Step, posted December 11th, 2014
Dec. 10, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted December 10th, 2014
Dec. 10, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted December 10th, 2014
Dec. 10, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted December 10th, 2014
Dec. 10, 2014 - Step by Step, posted December 10th, 2014
Dec. 9, 2014 - Step by Step, posted December 9th, 2014
Dec. 9, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted December 9th, 2014
Dec. 9, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted December 9th, 2014
Dec. 9, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted December 9th, 2014
Dec. 8, 2014 - Step by Step, posted December 8th, 2014
Dec. 8, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted December 8th, 2014
Dec. 8, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted December 8th, 2014
Dec. 8, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted December 8th, 2014
Dec. 7, 2014 - Step by Step, posted December 7th, 2014
Dec. 7, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted December 7th, 2014
Dec. 7, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted December 7th, 2014
Dec. 7, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted December 7th, 2014
Dec. 6, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted December 6th, 2014
Dec. 6, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted December 6th, 2014
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