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May 26, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Doubt is the opposite of Faith. No man has either one completely, but even those of little faith have by far more faith than doubt. He may not admit a belief in God or the inherent good in mankind, but still there are numberless things in which he has no doubt.

If he did not have some faith, he would be afraid to go to sleep for fear he wouldn't waken; he would refuse to eat a meal unless he cooked it himself. He would be afraid to leave his wife to go to work or to leave his job to return to his wife for fear they would not be there when he returned.

Reduced to its simplest form, life is good or bad in proportion to our faith and our doubts.

Hazelden Foundation

May 26, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Reflection for the Day
I know today that I no longer have to proceed on my own. I've learned that it's safer, more sensible and surer to move forward with friends who are going in the same direction as I. None of us need feel shame at using help, since we all help each other. It's no more a sign of weakness to use help in recovering from my addiction than it is to use a crutch if I have a broken leg. To those who need it, and to those who see its usefulness, a crutch is a beautiful thing.

Do I sometimes still refuse to accept easily-obtained assistance?

Today I Pray
God make me see that it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help, that the camaraderie of the group is what makes it work for each of us. Like a vaccine for diphtheria or polio, The Program and the strength of the group have proved themselves as preventives for slips and backsliding. Praise God for the tools of recovery.

Today I Will Remember
Help is as near as my telephone.

Hazelden Foundation

May 26, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

AA Thought for the Day
In Twelfth-Step work, the fourth thing is conversion. Conversion means change. Prospects must learn to change their way of thinking. Until now, everything they've done has been connected with drinking. Now they must face a new kind of life, without liquor. They must see and admit that they cannot overcome drinking by their own willpower, so they must turn to a Higher Power for help. They must start each day by asking this Higher Power for the strength to stay sober. This conversion to belief in a Higher Power comes gradually, as they try it and find that it works.

Do I care enough about other alcoholics to help them to make this conversion?

Meditation for the Day
Discipline of yourself is absolutely necessary before the power of God is given to you. When you see others manifesting the power of God, you probably have not seen the discipline that went before. They made themselves ready. All your life is a preparation for more good to be accomplished when God knows that you are ready for it. So keep disciplining yourself in the spiritual life every day. Learn so much of the spiritual laws that your life cannot again be a failure. Others will see the outward manifestation of the inward discipline in your daily living.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may manifest God's power in my daily living. I pray that I may discipline myself so as to be ready to meet every opportunity.

Hazelden Foundation

May 26, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

" ...We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 5, pp 66-7.

Today, let go my resentments and other ill feelings I might harbor for someone else to my Higher Power. I cannot justify feeling anger and anything else bad against anyone else if I hope or expect no one to have such feelings toward me. If I claim spiritual disease as the root of my own misconduct, I have to allow the same to those who have offended me. While I might never grow to like those the person I believe has offended me, rightfully or not, I need to at least work toward revenge or hopes that something bad befalls someone else. Today, as I hope no one wishes me ill, I cannot justify hoping the worst for someone else. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2015

May 25, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, May 25, 2015

Our cute little darling and that spoiled brat across the street do exactly the same tricks.

Man is so constructed that he cannot be absolutely impartial. It is contrary to human nature.

We can, however, pause and reflect before we pass judgment, and we can try to put ourselves in the other fellow's position. We are prone to judge him solely on his acts while we judge our acts by our motives and thus excuse ourselves.

Hazelden Foundation

May 25, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, May 25, 2015

Reflection for the Day
When we're new in The Program, we're novices at reaching out for friendship - or even accepting it when it's offered. Sometimes we're not quite sure how to do it or, indeed, whether it will actually work. Gradually, however, we become restored; we become teachable. We learn, for example, as Moliere wrote, "The more we love our friends, the less we flatter them."

Just for today, will I not show anyone that my feelings are hurt?

Today I Pray
May God help me to discover what true friendship is. In my new relationships, I pray that I may not be so eager for approval that I will let myself be dishonest - through flattery, half-truths, false cheeriness, protective white lies.

Today I Will Remember
A friend is honest.

Hazelden Foundation

May 25, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, May 25, 2015

AA Thought for the Day
In Twelfth-Step work, the third thing is conviction. Prospects must be convinced that they honestly want to stop drinking. They must see and admit that their life is unmanageable. They must face the fact that they must do something about their drinking. They must be absolutely honest with themselves and face themselves as they really are. They must be convinced that they must give up drinking and they must see that their whole life depends on this conviction.

Do I care enough about other alcoholics to help them reach this conviction?

Meditation for the Day
There is no limit to what you can accomplish in helping others. Keep that thought always. Never relinquish any work or give up the thought of any accomplishment because it seems beyond your power. God will help you in all good work. Only give it up if you feel that it's not God's will for you. In helping others, think of the tiny seed under the dark, hard ground. There is no certainty that, when it has forced its way up to the surface, sunlight and warmth will greet it. Often a task seems beyond your power, but there is no limit to what you can accomplish with God's help.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may never become discouraged in helping others. I pray that I may always rely on the power of God to help me.

Hazelden Foundation

May 25, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, May 25, 2015

"The remorse, horror and hopelessness of the next morning are unforgettable. The courage to do battle was not there. (The) brain raced uncontrollably and there was a terrible sense of impending calamity. ...(A) mental fog settled down. Gin would fix that. So two bottles, and - oblivion." - Alcoholics Anonymous, Third Edition, 1976, Ch 1, p 6.

Today, gratitude that I awoke today without regret of what I might have done or said last night, without a sense of dread of what this day will bring and without the fear of some unknown disaster that feels like a bomb is about to explode and I don't know where to hide. Today, I have clarity of all I said and did last night, no dread of what these 24 Hours will serve and no need to run from a non-existent fear. AA has strengthened me with faith and trust in a Higher Power who, in turn, has graced me with faith in the 12 Steps and, above all, with sobriety. But I cannot take for granted that I awoke sober today and with a sense of purpose. My reprieve from all those morning after's of so many yesterday's is only for this day, and this day I must continue to work toward awakening to the next 24 Hours without "remorse, horror and hopelessness." And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2015

May 24, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, May 24, 2015

The only impossible thing in the world is a full conception of the things that are possible.

Within the limits of our lifetime, we have seen many marvels: the transmission of sound and pictures across the continent without visible means; we cook and freeze with the same unit of energy; man can now exert a force of 20,000 tons simply by pushing a button. Nothing seems beyond the vision of the scientist in his study and use of the unlimited forces of Nature.

The power of God, however, is still virgin territory. Man hasn't scratched the surface in his efforts to put this force to work for man. When this is accomplished, the word "impossible" will not be in anybody's dictionary.

Hazelden Foundation

May 24, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, May 24, 2015

Reflection for the Day
Getting over years of suspicion and other self-protective mechanisms can hardly be an overnight process. We've become thoroughly conditioned to feeling and acting misunderstood and unloved - whether we really were or not. Some of us may need time and practice to break out of our shell and the seemingly comfortable familiarity of solitude. Even though we begin to believe and know we're no longer alone, we tend to sometimes feel and act in the old ways.

Am I taking it easy? Am I learning to wear The Program and life like a loose garment?

Today I Pray
May I expect no sudden, total reversal of all my old traits. My sobriety is just a beginning. May I realize that the symptoms of my disease will wear off gradually. If I slip back, now and then, into my old self-pity bag or my grandiosity, may I not be discouraged but grateful. At last, I can face myself honestly and not let my delusions get the best of me.

Today I Will Remember
Easy does it.

Hazelden Foundation

May 24, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, May 24, 2015

AA Thought for the Day
In Twelfth-Step work, the second thing is confession. By frankly sharing with prospects, we get them talking about their own experiences. They will open up and confess things to us that they haven't been able to tell other people. And they feel better when this confession has been made. It's a great load off their minds to get these things out and into the open. It's the things that are kept hidden that weigh on the mind. They feel a sense of release and freedom when they have opened up their hearts to us.

Do I care enough about other alcoholics to help them to make a confession?

Meditation for the Day
I should help others all I can. Every troubled soul that God puts in my path is the one for me to help. As I sincerely try to help, a supply of strength will flow into me from God. My circle of helpfulness will widen more and more. God hands out the spiritual food to me and I pass it on to others. I must never say that I have only enough strength for my own need. The more I give away, the more I will keep. That which I keep to myself, I will lose in the end.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may have a sincere willingness to give. I pray that I may not hold back the strength I have received for myself alone.

Hazelden Foundation

May 24, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, May 24, 2015

"Let no alcoholic say he cannot recover unless he has his family back. This just isn't so. In some cases, the (spouse) will never come back ...(R)ecovery is not dependent upon people. It is dependent upon his relationship with God." - Alcoholics Anonymous, Third Edition, 1976, Ch 7, pp 99-100.

Today, grant me understanding why my alcoholism and recovery are dependent only on me and that I cannot make them a condition of what someone else does or how some situation plays out. Just as none of those can be "blamed" for my drinking, neither can they be the reason for my recovery. To place conditions of my sobriety on someone or something else does little more than reinforce my refusal to take responsibility and consequences, and exert emotional blackmail on an external source that I cannot or will not stop drinking if I don't get from them what I want. Today, my alcoholism and my character and spiritual defects are my responsibility and no one else's fault. Likewise, no one and nothing outside of me are responsible for my recovery. And if addiction is as selfish as the Program says, then so it is for my recovery. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2015

May 23, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Saturday, May 23, 2015

"God created the world and God saw everything He had made and, behold, it was very good." He gave man dominion over the world and we have badly fouled it up.

This world, with all its wars, crimes, sins and sorrows, is truly our world - not the one God made.

Alcoholics and non-alcoholics alike must get out of the driver's seat, admit we are powerless over our baser instincts and let God take over.

Then our world will become His world again and it will be very good, indeed.

Hazelden Foundation

May 23, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Saturday, May 23, 2015

Reflection for the Day
When newcomers to The Program experience the first startling feeling that they're truly among friends, they also wonder - with almost a sense of terror - if the feeling is real. Will it last? Those of us who've been in The Program a few years can assure any newcomer at a meeting that it is very real indeed, and that it does last. It's not just another false start, nor just a temporary burst of gladness to be followed, inevitably, by shattering disappointment.

Am I convinced that I can have a genuine and enduring recovery from the loneliness of my addiction?

Today I Pray
Please, God, let me not be held back by my fear of recurring loneliness. May I know that the openness which warms me in this group will not suddenly close up and leave me out. May I be patient with my fear, which is swollen with past disappointments and losses. May I know that the fellowship of the group will, in time, convince me that loneliness is never incurable.

Today I Will Remember
Loneliness is curable.

Hazelden Foundation

May 23, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, May 23, 2015

AA Thought for the Day
The Twelfth Step of AA, working with others, can be subdivided into five parts, five words beginning with the letter C - confidence, confession, conviction, conversion and continuance. The first thing in trying to help other alcoholics is to get their confidence. We do this by telling them our own experiences with drinking so that they see that we know what we're talking about. If we share our experiences frankly, they will know that we are sincerely trying to help them. They will realize that they're not alone and that others have had experiences as bad or worse than theirs. This gives them confidence that they can be helped.

Do I care enough about other alcoholics to get their confidence?

Meditation for the Day
I fail not so much when tragedy happens as I did before the happening, by all the little things I might have done but did not do. I must prepare for the future by doing the right thing at the right time now. If a thing should be done, I should deal with that thing today and get it righted with God before I allow myself to undertake any new duty. I should look upon myself as performing God's errands and then coming back to Him to tell Him in quiet communion that the message has been delivered or the task done.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may seek no credit for the results of what I do. I pray that I may leave the outcome of my actions to God.

Hazelden Foundation

May 23, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Saturday, May 23, 2015

"It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. ...But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal." - Alcoholics Anonymous, Third Edition, 1976, Ch 5, p 66

Today, understand and accept that resentments are both futile and unhappy and, by holding onto them, other words in the Big Book are gospel: " ...(H)arboring such (resentment), we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die." Because I cannot afford to empower anything so strongly that my sobriety and, maybe, my life are imperiled, I will listen to my Higher Power for the way to release to Him my resentments without taking them back. By holding onto and later taking back resentment, I must follow the Big Book's conclusion that I am still spiritually sick and that the sickness can trigger a slip or relapse. Today, I seek with sincerity and humility the courage, strength and willingness to release that which I cannot control. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2015

May 21, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Thursday, May 21, 2015

If we deny the fatherhood of God and our divine relationship to Him and each other, then we are but animated pieces of clay, each one independent of and unconnected with each other. If that be so, then we are foolish to love and labor for others. But are love and charity nonsense? Would life be a pleasant and interesting experience without them? No, if we removed these characteristics from our lives, we would be left with only that which the baser animals possess.

Hazelden Foundation

May 21, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Thursday, May 21, 2015

Reflection for the Day
"The language of friendship is not words, but meanings," wrote Thoreau. Life indeed takes on new meanings, as well as new meaning in The Program. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends - this is an experience not to be missed.

Can I recall my initial reactions when I came to The program? Do I believe that I've finally come home?

Today I Pray
As The Program has given life new meanings for me, may I pass along to others that same chance to re-evaluate their lives in the light of sobriety, common purpose, friendships and spiritual expansion. Praise God for my new vision of human life. Praise Him for restoring for me the value and purpose of living.

Today I Will Remember
I value my life.

Hazelden Foundation

May 21, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, May 21, 2015

AA Thought for the Day
One of the finest things about AA is the sharing. Sharing is a wonderful thing because the more you share, the more you have. In our old drinking days, we didn't do much sharing. We used to keep things to ourselves, partly because we were ashamed but mostly because we were selfish. And we were very lonely because we didn't share. When we came into AA, the first thing we found was sharing. We heard other alcoholics frankly sharing their experiences with hospitals, jails and all the usual mess that goes with drinking.

Am I sharing?

Meditation for the Day
Character is developed by the daily discipline of duties done. Be obedient to the heavenly vision and take the straight way. Do not fall into the error of calling, "Lord, Lord," and doing not the things that should be done. You need a life of prayer and meditation, but you must still do your work in the busy ways of life. The busy person is wise to rest and wait patiently for God's guidance. If you are obedient to the heavenly vision, you can be at peace.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may be obedient to the heavenly vision. I pray if I fall, I will pick myself up and go on.

Hazelden Foundation

May 21, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, May 21, 2015

Today, if I get frustrated or overwhelmed by the responsibilities with which sobriety has entrusted me, I will slow down to remember gratitude and humility, if for no other reason than I once could not be trusted with the responsibilities that I have being sober. Sobriety and  recovery have given me a purpose and sense of inclusion that drinking took from me. But although sober and (hopefully) getting better emotionally and spiritually day by day, I must guard against a reckless or stupid moment in which what I have gained is destroyed - by me. Today, even if the candle burns at both ends, I will be grateful that my candle even has a flame. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2015

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Previous Posts
May 26, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted May 26th, 2015
May 26, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted May 26th, 2015
May 26, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted May 26th, 2015
May 26, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted May 26th, 2015
May 25, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted May 25th, 2015
May 25, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted May 25th, 2015
May 25, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted May 25th, 2015
May 25, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted May 25th, 2015
May 24, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted May 24th, 2015
May 24, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted May 24th, 2015
May 24, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted May 24th, 2015
May 24, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted May 24th, 2015
May 23, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted May 23rd, 2015
May 23, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted May 23rd, 2015
May 23, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted May 23rd, 2015
May 23, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted May 23rd, 2015
May 21, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted May 21st, 2015
May 21, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted May 21st, 2015
May 21, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted May 21st, 2015
May 21, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted May 21st, 2015
May 20, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted May 20th, 2015
May 20, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted May 20th, 2015
May 20, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted May 20th, 2015
May 20, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted May 20th, 2015
May 19, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted May 19th, 2015
May 19, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted May 19th, 2015
May 19, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted May 19th, 2015
May 19, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted May 19th, 2015
May 18, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted May 18th, 2015
May 18, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted May 18th, 2015
May 18, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted May 18th, 2015
May 18, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted May 18th, 2015
May 16, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted May 16th, 2015
May 16, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted May 16th, 2015
May 16, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted May 16th, 2015
May 16, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted May 16th, 2015
May 15, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted May 15th, 2015
May 15, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted May 15th, 2015
May 15, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted May 15th, 2015
May 15, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted May 15th, 2015
May 14, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted May 14th, 2015
May 14, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted May 14th, 2015
May 14, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted May 14th, 2015
May 14, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted May 14th, 2015
May 13, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted May 13th, 2015
May 13, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted May 13th, 2015
May 13, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted May 13th, 2015
May 13, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted May 13th, 2015
May 12, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted May 12th, 2015
May 12, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted May 12th, 2015
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