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cmmacneil's Blog


April 19, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener

Saturday, April 19, 2014 

All things in life are relative. Without night, there would be no day; without evil, there would be no good; without sorrow, there would be no joy. 

Drunk or sober, clouds will occasionally appear on the horizon, but most of them will blow away. Storm will sometimes break upon us but, if we are prepared, we can ride it out and the rainbow will follow giving promise of better things ahead. 

Yesterday's rain enhances our pleasure in today's sunshine. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 18, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Friday, April 18, 2014
 
Today, I recommit myself as a loyal and trusting member of the Program and its members who confide in me their Fourth Step and all other communications. I must treat as private all things any members share with me and cannot take for granted that I can share or "gossip" with anyone whatever another member says to me even if there is no stated promise of confidentiality. Failure on my part to treat as private all matters involving any member is a show of disrespect to both the other person and the Program, and disqualifies me as an ethical 12th-Stepper. And, as someone in recovery, I cannot expect that what I share with someone will be treated as a sacred communication if I do not convey the same respect on others. Today, my sobriety carries the responsibility of loyalty, trust and respect of the Program and its members - and they have it. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

April 18, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Friday, April 18, 2014 

AA Thought for the Day

As I look back over my drinking career, have I learned that you take out of life what you put into it? When I put drinking into my life, did I take out a lot of bad things? Hospitals with the DT's? Jails for drunken driving? Loss of job? Loss of home and family? 

When I put drinking into my life, was almost everything I took out bad? 

Meditation for the Day

I should strive for a friendliness and helpfulness that will affect all who come near to me. I should try to see something to love in them. I should welcome them, bestow little courtesies and understandings on them and help them if they ask for help. I must send no one away without a word of cheer, a feeling that I really care about them. God may have put the impulse in some despairing one's mind to come to me. I must not fail God by repulsing that person. They may not want to communicate with me unless they are sure of a warm welcome. 

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may warmly welcome all who come to me for help. I pray that I may make them feel that I really care. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 18, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time

Friday, April 18, 2014 

Reflection for the Day

We in The Program know full well the futility of trying to overcome our addictions by willpower alone. At the same time, we do know that it takes great willingness to adopt The Program's Twelve Steps as a way of life that can restore us to sanity. No matter how severe our addictions, we discover with relief that choices can still be made. For example, we can choose to admit that we're personally powerless over chemical dependency; that dependence upon a Higher Power is a necessity, even if this be simply dependence upon our group in The Program. 

Have I chosen to try for a life of honesty and humility, of selfless service to my fellows and to God as I understand Him? 

Today I Pray

God grant me the wisdom to know the difference between "willpower" (which has failed me before) and "willingness" to seek help for my dependency, through Him and through others who are also recovering. May I know that there are choices open to me as there are to my fellow-sufferers in the foggiest stages of addiction. May I choose the kind of life God wants for me. 

Today I Will Remember

Willingness, more than willpower, is the key to recovery. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 18, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener

Friday, April 18, 2014 

It has always been a source of amusement to observe how belligerent people get in religious controversies, and it is usually true that the less religion they practice, the more they are prone to argue about it. 

A convert is anyone who deserts some other form of religion and accepts yours or mine, while a renegade is one who deserts either yours or mine. Your convert may be my renegade. 

Those who have the real spirit of the Golden Rule don't have to fight over religion for they have it, they know they have it and they know no one can take it from them. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 17, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, April 17, 2014 
 
Today, if I have avoided honesty in a relationship that was forged in drinking but now is broken because I have moved on to recovery and the other person hasn't, I must confront the possibility that I have out-grown the relationship if the other person chooses not to walk with me in sobriety. Just like the drinking alcoholic who lost his family and gained sobriety but didn't get his family back, so it goes with other relationships. As difficult and painful the decision, the choice may be that my own recovery and sobriety are at the risk if I stay with a partner who is not - and may never be - ready or willing to get better with me. And an unfortunate and unintended product of sobering up may be the self-realization that I might not like the spouse or partner with whom alcohol was the binding glue our relationship. And a tough choice may boil down to the stark fact that I cannot sacrifice my sobriety to salvage a relationship that, in recovery, may not be healthy enough to salvage. Today, if I have to end a relationship because I am becoming healthier and the other person is becoming sicker, I need only to look to the members of my group for validation. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

April 17, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Thursday, April 17, 2014 

AA Thought for the Day

Every time we go to an AA meeting, every time we say the Lord's prayer, every time we have a quiet time before breakfast, we're paying a premium on our insurance against taking that first drink. And every time we help another alcoholic, we're making a large payment on our drink insurance. We're making sure that our policy doesn't lapse. 

Am I building up an endowment in serenity, peace and happiness that will put me on easy street for the rest of my life? 

Meditation for the Day

I gain faith by my own experience of God's power in my life. The constant, persistent recognition of God's spirit in all my personal relationships, the ever-accumulating weight of evidence in support of God's guidance, the numberless instances in which seeming chance or wonderful coincidence can be traced to God's purpose in my life. All these things gradually engender a feeling of wonder, humility and gratitude to God. These in turn are followed by a more sure and abiding faith in God and His purposes. 

Prayer for the Day

I pray that my faith may be strengthened every day. I pray that I may find confirmation of my life in the good things that have come into my life. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 17, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time

Thursday, April 17, 2014 

Reflection for the Day

The Program teaches me to remain on guard against impatience, lapses into self-pity and resentments of the words and deeds of others. Though I must never forget what it used to be like, neither should I permit myself to take tormenting excursions into the past - merely for the sake of self-indulgent morbidity. Now that I'm alert to the danger signals, I know I'm improving day by day. 

If a crisis arises, or any problem baffles me, do I hold it up to the light of the Serenity Prayer? 

Today I Pray

I pray for perspective as I review the past. May I curb my impulse to upstage and out-do the members of my group by regaling them with the horrors of my addiction. May I no longer use the past to document my self-pity or submerge myself in guilt. May memories of those miserable earlier days serve me only as sentinels, guarding against hazardous situations or unhealthy sets of mind. 

Today I Will Remember

I cannot change the past. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 17, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener

Thursday, April 17, 2014 

Loneliness drives more people to the Gin Mill than almost any other single factor - perhaps even the compulsion to drink.

In the old days when our society was objectionable to all our old friends, we would from sheer boredom go to the bar just to talk to someone. Anyone's conversation was preferable to our thoughts. The drink was frequently an incidental. 

Boredom is still one of our worst enemies. If you have an AA club, there is always some guy you can try to help. Regardless of your effect on him, the experience is bound to help you and will relieve you of your blues. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 16, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 
 
Today, I have to start forgiving myself and let go of any guilt I harbor for failing or not getting the chance to make amends to someone who is no longer able to hear my apology. If I hurt someone is not able to receive my amends, may God grant me the comfort in remembering the good I hopefully showed that person before the selfishness, egoism or whatever other excuse my alcoholism inflicted damage. And if I can no longer go to that person for whatever reason although I wish I could, let my amends to that person be progress in recovery and not imposing injury or hurt on anyone else. But, in every instance, forgiving has to begin at home; without forgiving myself, I probably cannot "allow" anyone else to forgive me. Today, I take responsibility for harm I did someone to whom I can no longer make amends, and my sincerest apology may be to progress beyond holding onto guilt and growing in recovery; there will be no amends if I empower my guilt to make me take up the bottle again. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

April 16, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 

AA Thought for the Day

In AA, we have insurance. Our faith in God is a kind of insurance against the terrible things that might happen to us if we ever drink again. By putting our drink problem in the hands of God, we've taken out a sort of insurance policy which insures us against the ravages of drink, as our homes are insured against destruction by fire. 

Am I paying my AA insurance premiums regularly? 

Meditation for the Day

I must try to love all humanity. Love comes from thinking of every man or woman as your brother or sister because they are children of God. This way of thinking makes me care enough about them to really want to help them. I must put this kind of love into action by serving others. Love means no severe judging, no resentments, no malicious gossip and no destructive criticism. It means patience, understanding, compassion and helpfulness. 

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may realize that God loves me since He is the Father of us all. I pray that I in turn may have love for all of His children. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 16, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 

Reflection for the Day

I once heard it said that "the mind is the slayer of the real." Looking back at the insanity of those days when I was actively addicted, I know precisely what that phrase means. One of The Program's important fringe benefits for me today is an increasing awareness of the world around me, so I can see and enjoy reality. This alone helps diminish the difficulties I so often magnify, creating my own misery in the process. 

Am I acquiring the sense of reality which is absolutely essential to serenity? 

Today I Pray

May I be revived by a sharpened sense of reality, excited to see - for the first time since the blur of my worst moments - the wonders and opportunities in my world. Emerging from the don't-care haze of addiction, I see objects and faces coming into focus again, colors brightening. May I take delight in this new-found brightness. 

Today I Will Remember

To focus on my realities. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 16, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 

Man is the only animal that smiles, and he is the only one that has need of it. Not that God provided more for the animal kingdom than He did for us. But man, through the stupid misuse of his willpower and his other advantages, has brought misfortunes upon himself that would be unendurable but for the healing balm of smiles and a sense of humor. 

No man is completely beaten as long as he can smile, and we know from past experience that we can wade out of most of our messes on the stepping stones of good-humored grins. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 15, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Today, I will focus on rebuilding a positive and realistic self-confidence if I am in a place in recovery where I doubt or even fear moving on because I think I may fail. In recovery, there is little to fear because we have already been through the most fearful place of all. But if I am afraid that I will stumble, fall short of a goal or cannot do what I must, I risk not only stagnation but possibly relapse if my self-confidence is so poor that I deceive myself into thinking sobriety offers little more than what drinking provided. And I cannot compare myself and where I am in recovery to anyone else, either to reinforce my poor self-esteem or to embellish it. If I need more than the guidance of my Higher Power to overcome reluctance or fear to move ahead, I can compare myself to where I was before recovery. Today, fear and worry will not disable me from progressing. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

April 15, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

AA Thought for the Day

Terrible things could have happened to any one of us. We never will know what might have happened to us when we were drunk. We usually thought: "That couldn't happen to me." But any one of us could have killed somebody or have been killed ourselves, if we were drunk enough. But fear of these things never kept us from drinking. 

Do I believe that in AA we have something more effective than fear? 

Meditation for the Day

I must keep calm and unmoved in the vicissitudes of life. I must go back into the silence of communion with God to recover this calm when it is lost even for one moment. I will accomplish more by this calmness than by all the activities of a long day. At all cost, I will keep calm. I can solve nothing when I am agitated. I should keep away from things that are upsetting emotionally. I should run on an even keel and not get tipped over by emotional upsets. I should seek for things that are calm and good and true and stick to those things. 

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may not argue nor contend but merely state calmly what I believe to be true. I pray that I may keep myself in that state of calmness that comes from faith in God's purpose for the world. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 15, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

Reflection for the Day

Rare are the practicing alcoholics who have any idea how irrational they are or, seeing their irrationality, can bear to face it. One reason is that they are abetted in their blindness by a world which doesn't yet understand the difference between sane drinking and alcoholism. The dictionary defines sanity as "soundness of mind." Yet no alcoholic, soberly analyzing his or her destructive behavior, can truly claim soundness of mind. 

Have I come to believe, as the Second Step suggests, that a Power greater than myself can restore me to sanity? 

Today I Pray

May I see that my own behavior as a practicing alcoholic, a drug user or a compulsive over-eater, could be described as "insane." For those still actively addicted, admitting to "insane" behavior is well-nigh impossible. I pray that I may continue to abhor the insanities and inanities of my addictive days. May others like me recognize their problems of addiction, find help in treatment and in The Program, and come to believe that a Higher Power can restore them to sanity. 

Today I Will Remember

He restoreth my soul. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 15, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 

Men may call themselves atheists, agnostics, unbelievers or what have you. But the fact still remains that man must believe in something. 

If he thinks his own presence here on earth is simply an accident in the forces of nature, then he must believe that the forces of nature are able to create him with all his delicately adjusted organism. To do this, the forces of nature would need to have intelligence in a very high degree and, in addition, there must be a tremendous creative force to carry out the dictates of that intelligence. He, himself, could not do this, so this force of nature is superior in a vast degree to himself. Bingo! He has found the God of his understanding; let him call Him what he may. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 14, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, April 14, 2014

Today, I realize that taking my Fourth Step only to the extent of identifying my destructive and good character components is not sufficient; I need also to understand the reason for them, especially the bad, so that the behavior will not trigger the wanton actions of my character defects. It is not enough, for example, to say I am sorry that I thought ill of my father and that I failed to respect him. I need to ask why I did not respect him; was I so selfish that I blamed him when he didn't get me the new car when I got my driver's license, or was it because he beat me when he was drunk - which might have been a lot? Similarly, if I identify a positive character trait, why do I think it is good? Is it because I sincerely want to do whatever is good for the pureness of unselfishness, or is it because I expect something in return, a marker to be called in down the road? Today, if I take my Fourth, I will try to understand it is not enough to name and ask my Higher Power to take away my character defects and hold onto the good without first knowing the reasons for them. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

April 14, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Monday, April 14, 2014 

AA Thought for the Day

A police captain once told about certain cases he had come across in his police work. The cause of the tragedy in each case was drunkenness. He told his audience about a man who got into an argument with his wife while he was drunk and beat her to death. Then he went out and drank some more. The police captain also told about a man who got too near the edge of an old quarry hole when he was drunk and fell 150 feet to his death. 

When I read or hear these stories, do I think about our motto: "But for the grace of God?" 

Meditation for the Day

I must keep balance by keeping spiritual things at the center of my life. God will give me this poise and balance if I pray for it. This poise will give me power in dealing with the lives of others. This balance will manifest itself more and more in my own life. I should keep material things in their proper place and keep spiritual things at the center of my life. Then I will be at peace amid the distractions of everyday living. 

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may dwell with God at the center of my life. I pray that I may keep that inner peace at the center of my being. 

Hazelden Foundation


April 14, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time

Monday, April 14, 2014 

Reflection for the Day

Every man and woman who has joined The Program and intends to stick around has, without realizing it, made a beginning on Step Three. Isn't it true that, in all matters related to their addictions, each of them has decided to turn his or her life over to the care, protection and guidance of The Program? So already a willingness has been achieved to cast out one's own will and one's own ideas about the addiction in favor of those suggested by The Program. If this isn't turning one's will and life over to a newfound "Providence," then what is it? 

Have I had a spiritual awakening as the result of The Steps? 

Today I Pray

For myself, I pray for a God-centered life. I thank Him often for the spiritual awakening I have felt since I turned my life over to Him. May the words "spiritual awakening" be a clue to others that there is a free fund of spiritual power within each person. It must only be discovered. 

Today I Will Remember

I will try to be God-centered. 

Hazelden Foundation


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Previous Posts
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
April 12, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted April 12th, 2014
April 12, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted April 12th, 2014
April 11, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 11th, 2014
April 11, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 11th, 2014
April 11, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted April 11th, 2014
April 11, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted April 11th, 2014
April 10, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 10th, 2014
April 10, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 10th, 2014
April 10, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted April 10th, 2014
April 10, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted April 10th, 2014
April 9, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 9th, 2014
April 9, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 9th, 2014
April 9, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted April 9th, 2014
April 9, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted April 9th, 2014
April 8, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 8th, 2014
April 8, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 8th, 2014
April 8, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted April 8th, 2014
April 8, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted April 8th, 2014
April 7, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 7th, 2014
April 7, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 7th, 2014
April 7, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted April 7th, 2014
April 7, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted April 7th, 2014
April 6, 2014 - Step by Step, posted April 6th, 2014
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