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cmmacneil's Blog


Oct. 30, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

Each and every one of us have what we have only by the Grace of God. Even if we acquired all our possessions through our own industry and intelligence, still you must admit that you gave yourself none of these attributes that made your acquisition possible.

These were not necessarily inherited traits, for geniuses have had morons for children. You have what you have because God so willed it, so use them as God would will it.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 30, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

Reflection for the Day
When I'm motivated by pride - by bondage of self - I become partly or even wholly blind to my liabilities and shortcomings. At that point, the last thing I need is comfort. Instead, I need an understanding friend in The Program - one who knows "where I'm at" - a friend who'll unhesitatingly chop a hole through the wall my ego has built so that the light of reason can once again shine through.

Do I take time to review my progress, to spot-check myself on a daily basis, and to promptly try to remedy my wrongs?

Today I Pray
God, I pray that the group - or just one friend - will be honest enough to see my slippery manifestations of pride and brave enough to tell me about them. My self-esteem was starved for so long, that with my first successes in The Program, it may swell to the gross proportions of self-satisfaction. May a view from outside myself give me a true picture of how I am handling the triumph of my sobriety - with humility or with pride.

Today I Will Remember
Self-esteem or self-satisfaction?

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 30, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
I have real friends, where I had none before. My drinking companions could hardly be called my real friends though, when drunk, we seemed to have the closest kind of friendship. My idea of friendship has changed. Friends are no longer people whom I can use for my own pleasure or profit. Friends are now people who understand me and I them, whom I can help and who can help me to live a better life. I have learned not to hold back and wait for friends to come to me, but to go halfway and to be met halfway, openly and freely.


Does friendship have a new meaning for me now?

Meditation for the Day
There is a time for everything. We should learn to wait patiently until the right time comes. Easy does it. We waste our energies in trying to get things before we are ready to have them, before we have earned the right to receive them. A great lesson we have to learn is how to wait with patience. We can believe that all our life is a preparation for something better to come when we have earned the right to it. We can believe that God has a plan for our lives and that this plan will work out in the fullness of time.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may learn the lesson of waiting patiently. I pray that I may not expect things until I have earned the right to have them.

Hazelden Foundation


Oct. 30, 2014 - After the Tears

After the Tears
Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

"Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks - drinking which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change, there is very little hope of his recovery." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "The Doctor's Opinion," pp xxvi-vii.

Today, if I cannot forget "the effect" of alcohol as I grew progressively drunker, let me never forget the morning after with its consequences, none of which I care to be responsible for anymore. If I can cling to what the morning-after costs were and that they were my "bottom," may they be potent enough to remove any desire to drink again because, should I drink again, there likely will be no stopping until another bottom hits - if I survive long enough. I abused that "firm resolution" not to drink again when I was hung over, or standing in front of a judge with my latest DUI or after I broke every promise I'd made to family and friends. A "firm resolution" is so easy then; it can be just as easy if I apply it to being sober - if I remember the consequence instead of "the effect." Today, I don't need or want to remember the effect; the consequences are enough. And our common journey continues. After the tears. - Chris M., 2014

Oct. 29, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014

We human beings are more miraculous than the ape organically. We do not even have some powers possessed by brute creation - for example, we cannot change color at will as can some reptiles. We can't change our physical make-up as the tadpole does when it becomes a frog, or a caterpillar when it changes into a butterfly.

Yet we are the miracle of all miracles, for we alone have a soul, which enables us to transcend this planet and commune with God himself.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 29, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014

Reflection for the Day
Virtually all of us suffered the defect of pride when we sought help through The Program, the Twelve Steps and the fellowship of those who truly understood what we felt and where we had been. We learned about our shortcomings - and of pride in particular - and began to replace self-satisfaction with gratitude for the miracle of our recovery, gratitude for the privilege of working with others, and gratitude for God's gift - which enabled us to turn catastrophe into good fortune.

Have I begun to realize that "pride is to character like the attic to the house - the highest part, and generally the most empty ...?"

Today I Pray
God, please tell me if I am banging my shins on my own pride. Luckily for me, The Program has its own built-in check for flaws like this - the clear-eyed vision of the group, which sees in me what I sometimes cannot see myself. May I know that any kind of success has always gone straight to my head, and be watching for it as I begin to reconstruct my confidence."

Today I Will Remember
"Success" can be a setback.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 29, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
My relationships with my children have greatly improved. Those children who saw me drunk and were ashamed, those children who turned away in fear and even loathing have seen me sober and like me, have turned to me in confidence and trust and have forgotten the past as best they could. They have given me a chance for companionship that I had completely missed. I am their father or their mother now. Not just "that person that Mom or Dad married and God knows why." I am a part of my home now.

Have I found something that I had lost?

Meditation for the Day
Our true measure of success in life is the measure of spiritual progress that we have revealed in our lives. Others should be able to see a demonstration of God's will in our lives. The measure of His will that those around us have seen worked out in our daily living is the measure of our true success. We can do our best to be a demonstration each day of the power of God in human lives, an example of the working out of the grace of God in the hearts of men and women.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may so live that others will see in me something of the working out of the will of God. I pray that my life may be a demonstration of what the grace of God can do.

Hazelden Foundation


Oct. 29, 2014 - After the Tears

After the Tears
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014

" ...(A) terrible thing happened. I ran out of people! Even my family didn't have much use for me. When they saw me coming, they locked up the silverware and everything else of value. I felt very lonely and hurt, because nobody understood me. I felt very sorry for myself and attempted suicide on many occasions, making sure there was always somebody within reaching distance to see that I didn't finish the job. Any time I tried to kill myself, I was either drunk or pilled up or both ..." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, "They Lost Nearly All," Ch 4 ("Belle of the Bar"), pp 478-79.

Today: " I ran out of people, " ...nobody understood me," "I felt very sorry for myself." What once was my prescription for life now sounds pathetic. Perhaps I refused or couldn't understand anyone else because I was too self-absorbed; maybe I felt sorry for myself because I had nothing to give or even offer anyone else; and possibly I ran out of people because I drove them away with my expectations that they make me and my wants or needs their total focus. As we sober up, we recover; as we recover, we see what we allowed our addictions to do to us and, in the end, what it did made us pathetic souls. In sobriety, I have no use, no excuse, no need and don't want to be that pathetic creature who expects to be the focus of everyone else's attention and, when I'm not, lash out in self-righteous indignation. I may not be perfect even in sobriety, but I don't have to be and I'm grateful to say I'm not the pathetic self-seeker I once was. So it goes with progress in the Program. And our common journey continues. After the tears. - Chris M., 2014

Oct. 28, 2014 - After the Tears

After the Tears
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014

Today, if in sobriety I cling onto such all-consuming and self-destructive emotions like resentment, anger, grief or bitterness and will not or cannot yet free myself of them, today, I at least will not take on any more feelings that I cannot handle. Recovery is partly about getting rid of the garbage and self-defeatism that I acquired before and during my drinking days; it is not about acquiring more of the same. In refusing to take on any more, I at least will have something less to work through and, in fact, might be able to take on what exists one thing at a time. Today, my recovery will focus on getting rid of what needs to be gone and not on collecting more of what I do not need. All I need remember is to "Let Go and Let God," and not take back that which I let go. And our common journey continues. After the tears. - Chris M., 2014

Oct. 28, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
What other rewards have come to me as a result of my new way of living? Each one of us can answer this question in many ways. My relationship with my husband or my wife is on an entirely new plane. The total selfishness is gone and more cooperation has taken its place. My home is a home again. Understanding has taken the place of misunderstanding, recriminations, bickering and resentment. A new companionship has developed which bodes well for the future. "There are homes where fires burn and there is bread, lamps are lit and prayers are said. Though people falter through the dark and nations grope, with God Himself back of these little homes, we still can hope."

Have I come home?

Meditation for the Day
We can bow to God's will in anticipation of the thing happening which will, in the long run, be the best for all concerned. It may not always seem the best thing at the present time, but we cannot see as far ahead as God can. We do not know how His plans are laid, we only need to believe that if we trust Him and accept whatever happens as His will in a spirit of faith, everything will work out for the best in the end.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not ask to see the distant scene. I pray that one step may be enough for me.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 28, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014

Reflection for the Day
"Pride, like a magnet, constantly points to one object, self; unlike the magnet, it has no attractive pole, but at all points repels." - Colton

When the earliest members of The Program discovered just how spiritually prideful they could be, they admonished one another to avoid "instant sainthood." That old-time warning could be taken as an alibi to excuse us from doing our best, but it's really The Program's way of warning against "prideful blindness" and the imaginary perfections we don't possess.

Am I beginning to understand the difference between pride and humility?

Today I Pray
May God, who in His mercy has saved our lives, keep us from setting ourselves up as the saints and prophets of The Program. May we recognize the value of our experiences for others without getting smug about it. May we remember with humility and love the thousands of other "old hands" who are equally well-versed in its principles.

Today I Will Remember
I will avoid "instant sainthood."

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 28, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014

Carrying your own troubles may be likened to a man trying to pick up a board that he is standing on. He has his own weight to contend with as well as the weight of the board.

It is much easier to carry the other man's burdens for we are standing away from the problem. We can view the problem impersonally and thoughtfully. We can show him where he is standing in his own way, direct him to take hold of his end of the problem and allow us to lift the other end. The weight, distributed between the two of us, will become relatively easy to handle.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 27, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, Oct. 27, 2014

Gifts are usually given for favors already given or for favors expected. Even the sudden outburst of affection from friend-wife is frequently followed by a glowing description of a dress she saw downtown.

The gift of AA is one exception. We give AA away because it is the only way we can keep it ourselves.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 27, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, Oct. 27, 2014

Reflection for the Day
The Program's Fourth Step suggests that we make a fearless moral inventory of ourselves. For so many of us, especially newcomers, the task seems impossible. Each time we take pencil in hand and try to look inward, Pride says scoffingly, "You don't have to bother to look." And Fear cautions, "You'd better not look." We find eventually that this sort of pride and fear are mere wisps of smoke, the cloudy strands from which were woven the mythology of our old ideas. When we push pride and fear aside and finally make a fearless inventory, we experience relief and a new sense of confidence beyond description.

Have I made an inventory? Have I shared its rewards so as to encourage others?

Today I Pray
May I not be stalled by my inhibitions when it comes to making a moral inventory of myself. May I not get to the Fourth Step and then screech to a stop because the task seems overwhelming. May I know that my inventory today, even though I try to make it "thorough" and honest, may not be as complete as it will be if I repeat it again, for the process of self-discovery goes on and on.

Today I Will Remember
Praise God for progress.

Hazelden Foundation

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, Oct. 27, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
Seventh, I can help other alcoholics. I am of some use in the world. I have a purpose in my life. I am worth something at last. My life has a direction and a meaning. All that feeling of futility is gone. I can do something worthwhile. God has given me a new lease on life so that I can help other alcoholics. He has let me live through all the hazards of my alcoholic life to bring me at last to a place of real usefulness in the world. He has let me live for this. This is my opportunity and my destiny. I am worth something!

Will I give as much of my life as I can to AA?

Meditation for the Day
All of us have our own battle to win, the battle between the material view of life and the spiritual view. Something must guide our lives. Will it be wealth, pride, selfishness, greed or will it be faith, honesty, purity, unselfishness, love and service? Each one has a choice. We can choose good or evil. We cannot choose both. Are we going to keep striving until we win the battle? If we win the victory, we can believe that even God in His heaven will rejoice.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may choose the good and resist the evil. I pray that I will not be a loser in the battle for righteousness.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 27, 2014 - After the Tears

After the Tears
Monday, Oct. 27, 2014

Today, I must understand that recovery gives me the freedom not to live within the confines of alcoholism and, instead, offers the freedom to live in the boundless possibilities of sobriety. As a recovering alcoholic, I know - or at least, I better know - what I cannot do and, in trying to work toward or maintaining sobriety, I may be fighting what I cannot do. But in recovery, I am not confined by what I cannot do in alcoholism and any other "ism" and do not have to fight sobriety. As such, I need to understand the distinction between fighting not to drink and simply letting sobriety be. Today, I have the freedom to live not in the problem of fighting not to drink but living in the solution of simply not drinking; I choose to live in the solution, not in the problem. And our common journey continues. After the tears. - Chris M., 2014

Oct. 26, 2014 - The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener

Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014


All men eventually die; it might be said that we live to die. The way we die is usually the way we live. Dying is the last thing we do on this earth, but certainly we do not live just to die. Living would not be worthwhile if that were so.

The only worthwhile purpose of living is that those whose lives we come in contact with will be enriched thereby. If you live so that others will live more abundantly, then you are performing the purpose of your little life.

Hazelden Foundation


Oct. 26, 2014 - A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014

Reflection for the Day
From time to time when I see the slogan "But for the Grace of God," I remember how I used to mouth those words when I saw others whose addictions had brought them to what I considered a "hopeless and helpless" state. The slogan had long been a cop-out for me, reinforcing my denial of my own addiction by enabling me to point to others seemingly worse off than I. "If I ever get like that, I'll quit," was my oft-repeated refrain. Today, instead, "But for the Grace of God" has become my prayer of thankfulness, reminding me to be grateful to my Higher Power for my recovery, my life and the way of life I've found in The Program.

Was anyone ever more "hopeless and helpless" than I?

Today I Pray
May I know that "but for the grace of God," I could be dead or insane by now, because there have been others who started on addictive paths when I did who are no longer here. May that same grace of God help those who are still caught in the downward spin, who are heading for disaster as sure as gravity.

Today I Will Remember
I have seen God's amazing grace.

Hazelden Foundation

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014

AA Thought for the Day
Sixth, I have AA meetings to go to, thank God. Where would I go without them? Where would I be without them? Where would I find the sympathy, the understanding, the fellowship, the companionship? Nowhere else in the world. I have come home. I have found the place where I belong. I no longer wander alone over the face of the earth. I am at peace and at rest. What a great gift has been given me by AA! I do not deserve it. But it is nevertheless mine. I have a home at last. I am content.

Do I thank God every day for the AA fellowship?

Meditation for the Day
Walk all the way with another person and with God. Do not go part of the way and then stop. Do not push God so far into the background that He has no effect on your life. Walk all the way with Him. Make a good companion of God, by praying to Him often during the day. Do not let your contact with Him be broken for too long a period. Walk all the way with God and with other people, along the path of life, wherever it may lead you.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may walk in companionship with God along the way. I pray that I may keep my feet upon the path that leads upward.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 26, 2014 - After the Tears

After the Tears
Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014

"Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings." - Step Seven

Today, I cannot be too eager to release my shortcomings or character defects without first laying the foundation of Steps Four, Five and Six. I cannot be honest about my defects without first taking the self-inventory of Step Four and then giving them voice by acknowledging them to myself, the God of my understanding and to another person as required in Step Five. And I certainly cannot ask for those defects to be removed if I am not willing to let them go, as mandated in Step Six. It has been heard in meetings that some people hold onto defects because they are not ready to let them go. But if those defects I cling to are a roadblock to the quality of recovery I seek, I have to be willing to release them. Today, I can "humbly ask Him to remove my shortcomings," but only after I have done the homework to let them go. And our common journey continues. After the tears. - Chris M., 2014

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Previous Posts
Oct. 30, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 30th, 2014
Oct. 30, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 30th, 2014
Oct. 30, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 30th, 2014
Oct. 30, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 30th, 2014
Oct. 29, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 29th, 2014
Oct. 29, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 29th, 2014
Oct. 29, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 29th, 2014
Oct. 29, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 29th, 2014
Oct. 28, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 28th, 2014
Oct. 28, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 28th, 2014
Oct. 28, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 28th, 2014
Oct. 28, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 28th, 2014
Oct. 27, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 27th, 2014
Oct. 27, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 27th, 2014
Oct. 27, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 27th, 2014
Oct. 27, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 27th, 2014
Oct. 26, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 26th, 2014
Oct. 26, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 26th, 2014
Oct. 26, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 26th, 2014
Oct. 26, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 26th, 2014
Oct. 25, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 25th, 2014
Oct. 25, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 25th, 2014
Oct. 25, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 25th, 2014
Oct. 25, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 25th, 2014
Oct. 24, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 24th, 2014, 1 comment
Oct. 24, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 24th, 2014
Oct. 24, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 24th, 2014
Oct. 24, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 24th, 2014
Oct. 23, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 23rd, 2014
Oct. 23, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 23rd, 2014
Oct. 23, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 23rd, 2014
Oct. 23, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 23rd, 2014
Oct. 22, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 22nd, 2014
Oct. 22, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 22nd, 2014
Oct. 22, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 22nd, 2014
Oct. 22, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 22nd, 2014
Oct. 21, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 21st, 2014
Oct. 21, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 21st, 2014
Oct. 21, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 21st, 2014
Oct. 21, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 21st, 2014
Oct. 20, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 20th, 2014
Oct. 20, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 20th, 2014
Oct. 20, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 20th, 2014
Oct. 20, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 20th, 2014
Oct. 19, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 19th, 2014
Oct. 19, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 19th, 2014
Oct. 19, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted October 19th, 2014
Oct. 19, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted October 19th, 2014
Oct. 18, 2014 - After the Tears, posted October 18th, 2014
Oct. 18, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted October 18th, 2014
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