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cmmacneil's Blog


April 24, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, April 24, 2014
 
Today, I begin to understand the link between consequences and responsibility - and to appreciate that I and I alone am responsible to the consequences of all my behavior and choices, including drinking, and that excuses and justifications will not spare me either consequences or responsibility. The Program's 12th Step requirement to "practice these principles in all (my) affairs" implies that to live by the Program's principles I must not fall back on the weak defenses of my days of drinking to weasel out of owning my feelings, actions and behavior and the consequences of each. If, for example, I slip or relapse, I cannot "blame" anyone or any situation or feeling because, in the end, I made the choice to drink. No one tied me down and poured it down my throat, and I and no one else will endure the physical and emotional consequences of my choice to drink. Today, I am mindful that all I say, do and feel will bear consequences and that I alone am responsible to those consequences. And if I want to avoid responsibility for consequences, the "out" is clear: don't do whatever I don't want to be responsible for. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

April 24, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Thursday, April 24, 2014 

AA Thought for the Day

It's been proved that we alcoholics can't get sober by our willpower. We've failed again and again. Therefore, I believe there must be a Higher Power which helps me. I think of that power as the grace of God. And I pray to God every morning for the strength to stay sober today. I know that Power is there because it never fails to help me. 

Do I believe that AA works through the grace of God? 

Meditation for the Day

Once I am "born of the spirit," that is my life's breath. Within me is the life of life, so that I can never perish. The life that down the ages has kept God's children through peril, adversity and sorrow. I must try never to doubt or worry, but follow where the life of the spirit leads. How often, when little I know it, God goes before me to prepare the way, to soften a heart, or to overrule a resentment. As the life of the spirit grows, natural wants become less important. 

Prayer for the Day

I pray that my life may become centered in God more than in self. I pray that my will may be directed towards doing His will. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 24, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time

Thursday, April 24, 2014 

Reflection for the Day

We come to know in The Program that there is no deeper satisfaction and no greater joy than in a Twelfth Step well done. To watch the eyes of men and women open with wonder as they move from darkness to light, to see their lives quickly fill with new purpose and meaning, and above all to watch them awaken to the presence of a loving God in their lives - these things are the substance of what we receive as we carry the message of The Program. 

Am I learning through Twelfth Step experiences that gratitude should go forward, rather than backward? 

Today I Pray

May my Twelfth Steps be as wholehearted and as convincing and as constructive as others' Twelfth-Stepping has been to me. May I realize that the might of The Program and its effectiveness for all of us come through "passing it on." When I guide someone else to sobriety, my own sobriety is underlined and reinforced. I humbly ask God's guidance before each Twelfth Step. 

Today I Will Remember

To pass it on. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 24, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener

Thursday, April 24, 2014 

The reasoning of the practicing alcoholic is in such foul shape that he is apt to take any attitude on the drinking question and usually does. 

It is unreasonable to expect them to view their own or anyone else's sobriety in a rational way. Naturally plain common sense is not possible in the midst of an alcoholic fog, but why - oh, why - do so many practicing alcoholics, including slipees, invariably persist in looking for the most insecure member of AA in their quest for a drinking partner? 

If you are homesick for the gutter, go on back to it. But don't take anyone with you. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 23, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
 
Today, I have to reflect on the choices and responsibilities of sponsorship. If I have progressed to a point in my sobriety that I need to consider asking someone to sponsor me, where and how do I begin? My home group is the fertile starting point, and I may think about selecting three or four members, narrow them down to those I feel I can trust most and then approach that potential sponsor in confidence. If I am being asked to sponsor someone, however, I ask my Higher Power for the wisdom and responsibility before taking on such a sacred trust. Let me understand that sponsorship does not mean I am the sponsee's pseudo-priest and that the job does not make me a "preacher." Today, I begin to extend my recovery to include asking to be sponsor and, God willing, consenting to someone's request to extend my hand to his. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

April 23, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 

AA Thought for the Day

Men and women keep coming into AA, licked by alcohol, often given up by doctors as hopeless cases, they themselves admitting they're helpless to stop drinking. When I see these men and women get sober and stay sober over a period of months and years, I know that AA works. The change I see in people who come into AA not only convinces me that there must be a Power greater than ourselves which helps us to make that change. 

Am I convinced that a Higher Power can help me to change? 

Meditation for the Day

Cooperation with God is the great necessity for our lives. All else follows naturally. Cooperation with God is the result of our consciousness of His presence. Guidance is bound to come to us as we live more and more with God, as our consciousness becomes more and more attuned to the great Consciousness of the universe. We must have many quiet times when we not so much ask to be shown and led by God, as to feel and realize His presence. New spiritual growth comes naturally from cooperation with God. 

Prayer for the Day

I pray that God may supply me with strength and show me the direction in which He wants me to grow. I pray that these things may come naturally from my cooperation with Him. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 23, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 

Reflection for the Day

No matter what it is that seems to be our need or problems, we can find something to rejoice in, something for which to give thanks. It is not God who needed to be thanked, but we who need to be thankful. Thankfulness opens new doors to good in our life. Thankfulness creates a new heart and a new spirit in us. 

Do I keep myself aware of the many blessings that come to me each day and remember to be thankful for them? 

Today I Pray

May God fill me with a spirit of thankfulness. When I express my thanks, however fumbling, to God or to another human being, I am not only being gracious to Him or that other person for helping me, but I am also giving myself the greatest reward of all - a thankful heart. May I not forget either the transitive "to thank," directed at someone else, or the intransitive "giving thanks," which fills my own great need. 

Today I Will Remember

Thank and give thanks. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 23, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 

It would be possible for a nation, or even the world, to exist without many of the natural resources we have. But no nation could exist without men. The strength of the nation is the strength of its men. 

The men who comprise the population of the nation are individuals, and the sum total of the virtues of the individuals is the character of the nation. 

Our value to society is not our newfound sobriety but our new character as developed by our new and better way of living. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 22, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Today, I will stop running from the pain of regret, shame, guilt, loss and all other anguish that my drinking days evoked. While I cannot and will not embrace my pain, I must finally come to terms and reconciliation with it. By taking each step in the Program with absolute honesty and the wisdom of my Higher Power's will for myself, I will look instead to the lessons to be learned from my actions that eventually pooled together to create the pain I may still carry. Regret and shame might be eased by perhaps the single strongest amend I can make: by not drinking today. I can release guilt by learning from the mistakes of my behavior that bred it, and the sense of loss might be less painful if I can be grateful that I even had what I lost and accept that I might not have been ready to be responsible for what I had and lost. Today, I will work on weakening the hurt of pain not by running from or denying it, but by confronting it and find the comfort in it - and even in pain, there is comfort. But, in the end, if I deny or do not allow myself to feel and deal with the hurt, the good might not feel as good as it might otherwise. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

April 22, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

AA Thought for the Day

People believe in AA when they see it work. An actual demonstration is what convinces them. What they read in books, what they hear people say doesn't always convince them. But when they see a real honest-to-goodness change take place in a person, a change from a drunkard to a sober, useful citizen, that's something they can believe because they can see it. There's really only one thing that proves to me that AA works. 

Have I seen the change in people who come into AA? 

Meditation for the Day

Divine control and unquestioning obedience to God are the only conditions necessary for a spiritual life. Divine control means absolute faith and trust in God, a belief that God is the Divine Principle in the universe and that He is the Intelligence and the Love that controls the universe. Unquestioning obedience to God means living each day the way you believe God wants you to live, constantly seeking the guidance of God in every situation and being willing to do the right thing at all times. 

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may always be under Divine Control and always practice unquestioning obedience to God. I pray that I may be always ready to serve Him. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 22, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

Reflection for the Day

As I attend meetings of The Program, my eyes open wider and wider. Other people's problems make mine look small, yet they are facing them with courage and confidence. Others are trapped in situations as bad as mine, but they bear their troubles with more fortitude. By going to meetings, I find many reasons to be grateful. My load has begun to lighten. 

Do I expect easy solutions to my problems? Or do I ask only to be guided to a better way? 

Today I Pray

Make The Program my way of life. Its goals are my goals. Its members are my truest friends. May I pass along the skills for coping I have learned there. May my turnabout and the resulting transformation in my life inspire others, as others have inspired me. 

Today I Will Remember

May I be grateful. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 22, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

When we take the first drink, we invite the dead certainty of physical illness, untold sorrows, shame and degradation. That first drink has built more hospitals, jails, poorhouses and insane asylums than any other cause. All the drinks that follow are simply compounding the felony. 

There are some people that can drink intelligently, but these people avoid difficulties. We are not in that class, and experience has proven it. Years of sobriety will not enable us to join that class and, again, experience has proven it. Why do you persist in trying, what are you trying to prove? That you are the exception to the rule? If you are the exception, you automatically become a freak. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 21, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, April 21, 2014

Today, I am okay! I will not let the clutter of my alcoholic past, the regrets of my past and uncertainty of my future clutter my mind with preoccupation and neglect of today. If I cannot simply be and feel okay today, I have a weak foundation for any tomorrows. But I will not let worry about tomorrow impair me today. If today I do not drink, then I am more alive than I ever was when I was drinking. If I can make and keep today okay, then I am making some progress. Hopefully today's progress will stretch into another 24 Hours and being okay will turn into something better, something the Program promises - one day at a time. Today, I am okay. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

April 21, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Monday, April 21, 2014 

AA Thought for the Day

After we've been in AA for a while, we find out that if we're going to stay sober, we have to be humble people. The men and women in AA who have achieved sobriety are all humble people. When I stop to think that but for the grace of God I might be drunk right now, I can't help feeling humble. Gratitude to God for His grace makes me humble. When I think of the kind of person I was not so long ago, when I think of the person I left behind me, I have nothing to be proud of. 

Am I grateful and humble? 

Meditation for the Day

I must arise from the death of sin and selfishness and put on a new life of integrity. All the old sins and temptations must be laid in the grave and a new existence rise from the ashes. Yesterday is gone. All my sins are forgiven if I am honestly trying to do God's will today. Today is here, the time of resurrection and renewal. I must start now, today, to build a new life of complete faith and trust in God and a determination to do His will in all things. 

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may share in making the world a better place to live in. I pray that I may do what I can to bring goodness a little nearer to the earth. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 21, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time

Monday, April 21, 2014 

Reflection for the Day

Can I be wholeheartedly grateful for today? If so, I'm opening doors to more and more abundant good. What if I can't be thankful for the "rain" that has fallen in my life - for the so-called bad times? What then? I can begin by giving thanks for all the sunshine I can remember, and for every blessing that has come my way. Perhaps then I'll be able to look back over the rainy periods of my life with new vision, seeing them as necessary; perhaps then, hidden blessings I've overlooked will come to my attention. 

Am I grateful for all of life - both the sunshine and the rain? 

Today I Pray

May I be grateful for all that has happened to me, good and bad. Bad helps to define good. Sorrow intensifies joy. Humility brings spirituality. Disease turns health into a paradise. Loneliness makes love, both human and Divine, the greatest gift of all. I thank God for the contrasts which have made me know Him better. 

Today I Will Remember

I am grateful for the whole of life. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 21, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener

Monday, April 21, 2014 

The churches in their quarrels over purely sectarian issues have done much to divert attention from the primary purpose of religion, which is spirituality. 

Some pastors take a more critical attitude toward the neglect of church duties than they do toward moral transgressions. 

AA should be kept free of all controversial questions. We have but one purpose, and that is to help the suffering alcoholic. Ours is a way of life; not a way of worship. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 20, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, April 20, 2014
 
Today, I will yield to the wisdom of taking small steps instead of an "easier, softer way" of giant leaps to reach my goal of recovery. Most likely, my alcoholism and its companion physical, emotional and spiritual diseases developed over a period of time; their solution is thus likely to take as much if not more time. But impatience is a characteristic of most alcoholics, and it cannot be allowed to tempt me to take the short route of skimming through the Steps in my thirst for the promises of sobriety. Failing to give full and complete attention to each Step in my zeal may set me up for frustration and disappointment - and together they put me at risk for a slip or relapse. Today, grant me the wisdom of patience in taking the Steps one by one and in understanding that it is through working them that we earn what we pursue. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

April 20, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Sunday, April 20, 2014 

AA Thought for the Day

The satisfaction you get out of living a sober life is made up of a lot of little things, but they add up to a satisfactory and happy life. You take out of life what you put into it. So I'd say to people coming into AA: "Don't worry about what life will be like without liquor. Just hang in there and a lot of good things will happen to you. And you'll have that feeling of quiet satisfaction and peace and serenity and gratitude for the grace of God." 

Is my life becoming really worth living? 

Meditation for the Day

There are two paths, one up and one down. We have been given free will to choose either path. We are captains of our souls to this extent only. We can choose the good or the bad. Once we have chosen the wrong path, we go down and down, eventually to death. But if we choose the right path, we go up and up, until we come to the resurrection day. On the wrong path, we have no power for good because we do not choose to ask for it. But on the right path, we are on the side of good and we have all the power of God's spirit behind us. 

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be in the stream of goodness. I pray that I may be on the right side, on the side of all good in the universe. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 20, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time

Sunday, April 20, 2014 

Reflection for the Day

"If a person continues to see only giants," wrote Anais Nin, "it means he is still looking at the world through the eyes of a child." During this 24-hour period, I won't allow myself to be burdened by thoughts of giants and monsters - of things that are past. I won't concern myself about tomorrow until it becomes my today. The better I use today, the more likely it is that tomorrow will be bright. 

Have I extended the hand of caring to another person today? 

Today I Pray

God, may I please grow up. May I no longer see monsters and giants on my walls, those projections of a child's imagination. May I bury my hobgoblins and realize that those epic dream-monsters are distortions of my present fears. May they vanish with my fearfulness, in the daylight of my new serenity. 

Today I Will Remember

I will put away childish fears. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 20, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener

Sunday, April 20, 2014 

Your Area Headquarters can probably use some additional help on the desk or perhaps a receptionist to interview new people calling at the club for help. They probably have a pressing need for Twelve Steppers or people who have a car and are available a day a week. Maybe they could use some speakers or even chair setter-uppers. 

How about your Group? It takes people to distribute and collect ash trays. It's possible you might come in handy preparing or distributing refreshments. 

Whatever your talents are, it is a safe bet they can use you. Then the Group will become Your Group. Don't wait to be drafted - Volunteer. 

Hazelden Foundation


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Previous Posts
April 24, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 24th, 2014
April 24, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 24th, 2014
April 24, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted April 24th, 2014
April 24, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted April 24th, 2014
April 23, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 23rd, 2014
April 23, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 23rd, 2014
April 23, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted April 23rd, 2014
April 23, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted April 23rd, 2014
April 22, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 22nd, 2014
April 22, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 22nd, 2014
April 22, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted April 22nd, 2014
April 22, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted April 22nd, 2014
April 21, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 21st, 2014
April 21, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 21st, 2014
April 21, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted April 21st, 2014
April 21, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted April 21st, 2014
April 20, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 20th, 2014
April 20, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 20th, 2014
April 20, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted April 20th, 2014
April 20, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted April 20th, 2014
April 19, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 19th, 2014
April 19, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 19th, 2014
April 19, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted April 19th, 2014
April 19, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted April 19th, 2014
April 18, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 18th, 2014
April 18, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 18th, 2014
April 18, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted April 18th, 2014
April 18, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted April 18th, 2014
April 17, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 17th, 2014
April 17, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 17th, 2014
April 17, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted April 17th, 2014
April 17, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted April 17th, 2014
April 16, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 16th, 2014
April 16, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 16th, 2014
April 16, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted April 16th, 2014
April 16, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted April 16th, 2014
April 15, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 15th, 2014
April 15, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 15th, 2014
April 15, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted April 15th, 2014
April 15, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted April 15th, 2014
April 14, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 14th, 2014
April 14, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 14th, 2014
April 14, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted April 14th, 2014
April 14, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted April 14th, 2014
April 13, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 13th, 2014
April 13, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 13th, 2014
April 13, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted April 13th, 2014
April 13, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted April 13th, 2014
April 12, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 12th, 2014
April 12, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 12th, 2014
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