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cmmacneil's Blog


July 24, 2014 - Step by Step

Step by Step
Thursday, July 24, 2014
 
Today, I take to heart that the necessary ingredient of gratitude is attitude. Gratitude for even the smallest of gains as opposed to complaining that the gains aren’t big enough is powered by attitude, and my attitude is a reflection of the quality of my sobriety and integrity of my Program. Even in the most demanding of days when most things seem to go wrong and few of them right, I must pause before reacting in a way I will likely regret later and remember my attitude in my drinking days. Then, my attitude was based on feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, fear, anger, regret, revenge, apathy and self-centeredness. They are the character defects as confessed in my Fourth Step, and confession alone does not mean those defects are gone. They remain; my Program is to improve on them day by day until they exist no more. Today, my attitude is not to rekindle the sins of my character but to disempower them with humility, empathy, answering a call to service and remembering, always, that my attitude defines me as either sober or as a dry drunk. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014

July 24, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, July 24, 2014
 
AA Thought for the Day
AA is like a dike, holding back the ocean of liquor. If we take one glass of liquor, it is like making a small hole in the dike and, once such a hole has been made, the whole ocean of alcohol may rush in upon us. By practicing the AA principles, we keep the dike strong and in repair. We spot any weakness or crack in that dike and make the necessary repairs before any damage is done. Outside the dike is the whole ocean of alcohol, waiting to engulf us again in despair.

Am I keeping the dike strong?

Meditation for the Day
Keep as close as you can to the Higher Power. Try to think, act and live as though you were always in God’s presence. Keeping close to a Power greater than yourself is the solution to most of the earth’s problems. Try to practice the presence of God in the things you think and do. That is the secret of personal power. It is the thing which influences the lives of others for good. Abide in the Lord and rejoice in His love. Keep close to the Divine Spirit in the universe. Keep God close behind your thoughts.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may keep close to the Mind of God. I pray that I may live with Him in my heart and mind.

Hazelden Foundation


July 24, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time
Thursday, July 24, 2014
 
Reflection for the Day
How, exactly, can a person turn his own will and his own life over to the care of a Power greater than himself? All that’s needed is a beginning, no matter how small. The minute we put the key of willingness in the lock, the latch springs open. Then the door itself starts to open, perhaps ever so slightly; in time, we find that we can always open it wider. Self-will may slam the door shut again, and it often does. But the door can always be re-opened, time and time again if necessary, so long as we use our key of willingness.

Have I reaffirmed my decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand Him?

Today I Pray
May I reaffirm my decision to turn my will and my life over to a Higher Power. May my faith be staunch enough to keep me knowing that there is, indeed, a power greater than I am. May I avail myself of that Power simply by being willing to “walk humbly with my Lord.”

Today I Will Remember
Self-will minus self equals will.

Hazelden Foundation


July 24, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener
Thursday, July 24, 2014
 
Last year I attended the Southeastern Convention at Miami Beach, and I had a grand time. Yet I do not recall, offhand, the name of a single speaker I heard, but I do remember the name of the man whom I called upon as a Twelfth-Stepper.

I fretted somewhat, at the time, that this man caused me to miss several meetings of the Convention, yet today it is my highlight of the affair. This man is happy on the AA Program, and I am happy that I was forced to forego some of the pleasure I traveled all the way to Miami to enjoy.

Hazelden Foundation


July 23, 2014 - Step by Step

 Step by Step
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
 
“I took everything that AA had to give me. Easy does it, first things first, one day at a time. It was at that point that I reached surrender. I heard one very ill woman say that she didn’t believe in the surrender part of the AA program. …Surrender to me has meant the ability to run my home, to face my responsibilities as they should be faced, to take life as it comes to me day by day, and work my problems out. That’s what surrender has meant to me. I surrendered once to the bottle, and I couldn’t do these things.” - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part II (“They Stopped in Time”), Ch. 4 (“The Housewife Who Drank at Home”), p 340.

Today, I look again at the concept of surrender and realize its various interpretations that can be integrated into my own recovery. While surrender arguably may be interpreted most often as entrusting our very lives to a Higher Power, the excerpt from the housewife’s story shows us that surrender is regaining the ability to take back and carry out our responsibilities and meet problems head-on and work them out. This requires sobriety and being clean, of course, and the promises of the Program by surrendering what we would be without it are just that – promises. Today, I long for those promises and, today, I become responsible enough to work for them. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014


July 23, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
 
AA Thought for the Day
We should remember that all AA’s have “clay feet.” We should not set any member upon a pedestal and mark her or him out as a perfect AA. It’s not fair to the person to be singled out in this fashion and, if the person is wise, she or he will not wish it. If the person we single out as an ideal AA has a fall, we are in danger of falling, too. Without exception, we are all only one drink away from a drunk, no matter how long we have been in AA. Nobody is entirely safe. AA itself should be our ideal, not any particular member of it.

Am I putting my trust in AA principles and not in any one member of the group?

Meditation for the Day
The inward peace that comes from trust in God truly passes all understanding. That peace no one can take from you. No person has the power to disturb that inner peace. But you must be careful not to let in the world’s worries and distractions. You must try not to give entrance to fears and despondency. You must refuse to open the door to the distractions that disturb your inward peace. Make it a point to allow nothing today to disturb your inner peace, your heart-calm.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not allow those about me to spoil my peace of mind. I pray that I may keep a deep inner calm throughout the day.

Hazelden Foundation


July 23, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
 
Reflection for the Day
Today I’ll try to settle for less than I wish were possible, and be willing to not only accept it but to appreciate it. Today, I’ll not expect too much of anyone – especially myself. I’ll try to remember that contentment comes from gratefully accepting the good that comes to us, and not from being furious at life because it’s not “better.”

Do I realize the difference between resignation and realistic acceptance?

Today I Pray
May I not set my sights unrealistically high, expect too much. May I look backwards long enough to see that my self-set, impossible goals were the trappings of my addiction; too often, I ended up halfway there, confronted by my own failure. Those “foiled-again,” “I’ve-failed-again” feelings became monumental excuses to give in to my compulsion, which blanketed my miseries. May I avoid that sick old pattern. May I be realistic.

Today I Will Remember
Good is good enough.

Hazelden Foundation


July 23, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
 
We alcoholics feared loneliness as much as anything else on earth. Even the companionship of the bull pen was preferable to being alone. The quality of our company made no difference, for it was preferable to our own thoughts; certainly, it was not as critical. We just couldn’t stand our own company.

In AA, we were told to establish conscious contact with the Man Upstairs and we marveled at the ease with which this was accomplished after a little effort on our part. Now we are never less alone than when we are alone.

Hazelden Foundation


July 22, 2014 - Step by Step

 Step by Step
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
 
“The words of Dr. Bob and Bill are with me all the time. Dr. Bob said, ‘Love and service keep us dry,’ and Bill said, ‘Always we must remember that our first duty is face-to-face help for the alcoholic who still suffers.’ Dr. Bob tells about keeping it simple and not to louse it up. …(T)here are some of us who, at times, try to read extra messages and complexities into the Steps. …AA is within the reach of every alcoholic, because it can be achieved in any walk of life and because the achievement is not ours but God’s. …(T)here is no situation too difficult, none too desperate, no unhappiness too great to be overcome in this great fellowship …” - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part II (“They Stopped in Time”), Ch 11 (“A Flower of the South”), p 395.

Today, remembering when life without drinking was unthinkable much less a dream beyond dreaming, today in recovery, can any problem in life be any worse or beyond resolution or reconciliation? While the Program of AA is a lifeline, we had to muster more strength and courage than we thought we had to grab and hold on by admitting we are powerless, coming to believe and going to any lengths. Nor does the Program come without responsibility as required in Step 12 – to answer the call of the alcoholic who still suffers, and to keep the Program simple without inserting “extra messages and complexities.” Today, if I think something in my life is hopeless, I need only remember so it was as a drinking alcoholic, to realize that nothing now is beyond hope. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014


July 22, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
 
AA Thought for the Day
One of the finest things about AA is the diversity of its membership. We come from all walks and stations of life. All types and classes of people are represented in an AA group. Being different from each other in certain ways, we can each make a different contribution to the whole. Some of us are weak in one respect, but strong in another. AA can use the strong points of all its members and can disregard their weaknesses. AA is strong, not only because we all have the same problem but also because of the diversified talents of its members. Each can contribute his part.

Do I recognize good points of all my group’s members?

Meditation for the Day
And greater works than these shall ye do.” Each individual has the ability to do good works through the power of God’s spirit. This is the wonder of the world, the miracle of the earth, that God’s power goes out to bless the human race through the agency of so many people who are actuated by His grace. We need not be held back by doubt, despondency and fear. A wonderful future can lie before any person who depends on God’s power, a future of unlimited power to do good works.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not limit myself by doubting. I pray that I may have confidence that I can be effective for good.

Hazelden Foundation


July 22, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
 
Reflection for the Day
The Program has taught me that the essence of all growth for me is a willingness to change for the better. Following that, I must have further willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails, and to courageously take every action that is required.

“I am and know and will;
I am knowing and willing;
I know myself to be and to will;
I will to be and to know.” - St. Augustine

Is willingness a key ingredient of my life and the way I work The Program?

Today I Pray
I pray for willingness to do what I can, willingness to be what I can be – and what is sometimes hardest – willingness to be what I am. I pray, too, for energies to carry out my willingness in all that I do, so that I may grow in the ways of God and practice the principles of The Program in all my affairs.

Today I Will Remember
“I am and know and will.”

Hazelden Foundation


July 22, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
 
Those of us who have our drinking tamed do not necessarily have our thinking or our actions under control. We are not under control until all our actions are under the domination of our intelligence, and our intelligence cannot properly function until we have thoroughly schooled it into instinctive sober and sane thinking. This constitutes one whale of a big job, one that will last a lifetime – but we can start on it today.

Hazelden Foundation


July 22, 2014 - Today's Gift from Hazelden

 Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Today's thought from Hazelden is:

No person is your enemy, no person is your friend, and every person is your teacher.
 -- Florence Scovel Shinn


We can open ourselves to opportunities today. They abound in our lives. No circumstance we find ourselves in is detrimental to our progress. No relationship with someone at work or at home is superfluous to our development. Teachers are everywhere. And as we become ready for a new lesson, one will appear.

We can marvel at the wonder of our lives today. We can reflect on our yesterdays and be grateful for the lessons they taught. We can look with hopeful anticipation at the days ahead - gifts, all of them. We are on a special journey, serving a special purpose, uniquely our own. No barrier, no difficult person, no tumultuous time is designed to interrupt our progress. All experiences are simply to teach us what we have yet to learn.

Trusting in the goodness of all people, all situations, all paths to progress will release whatever our fears, freeing us to go forth with a quicker step and an assurance that eases all moments.

The Twelve Steps help us to recognize the teachers in our lives. They help us clear away the baggage of the past and free us to accept and trust the will of God, made known to us by the teachers as they appear.

I am a student of life. I can learn only if I open my mind to my teachers.


July 21, 2014 - Step by Step

 Step by Step
Monday, July 21, 2014
 
“Could I be an alcoholic without some of the hair-raising experiences I had heard of in meetings? The answer came to me very simply in the first step of the Twelve Steps of AA. ‘We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.’ This didn’t say we had to be in jail, 10, 50 or 100 times. It didn’t say I had to lose one, five or 10 jobs. It didn’t say I had to lose my family. It didn’t say I had to finally live on skid row and drink bay rum, canned heat or lemon extract. It did say, ‘admitted I was powerless over alcohol; that my life had become unmanageable.’” - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part II (“They Stopped in Time”), Ch. 10 (“It Might Have Been Worse”), p 379.

Today, no excuses, no justifications, no rationalizations, no comparisons, no “I didn’t get that bad,” no fear, no shame, no anguish – only sheer guts and courage: “I am powerless.” Enough is enough. No more rejecting the idea of a Higher Power. I have seen and lived in the darkest of places; if something so bad could take me there, maybe something better can lead me on blind faith to a place of light. Today, I disempower that over which I am powerless by saying, “No more!” Today, no more. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014


July 21, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, July 21, 2014
 
AA Thought for the Day
If we feel the need of saying something to put another member on the right track, we should try to say it with understanding and sympathy, not with a critical attitude. We should keep everything out in the open and above-board. The AA program is wonderful, but we must really follow it. We must all pull together or we’ll all be sunk. We enjoy the privilege of being associated with AA and we are entitled to all its benefits. But gossip and criticism are not tolerance, and tolerance is an AA principle that is absolutely necessary to group unity.

Am I truly tolerant of all my group’s members?

Meditation for the Day
Faith can move mountains.” That expression means that faith can change any situation in the field of personal relationships. If you trust Him, God shows you the way to “move mountains.” If you are humble enough to know that you can do little by yourself to change a situation, if you have enough faith to ask God to give you the power you need, and if you are grateful enough for the grace He gives you, you can “move mountains.” Situations will be changed for the better by your presence.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may have enough faith to make me really effective. I pray that I may learn to depend less on myself and more on God.

Hazelden Foundation


July 21, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time
Monday, July 21, 2014

Reflection for the Day
When we’re faced with some condition or situation not to our liking, how can we have faith that all things are working together for good? Perhaps we have to ask ourselves just what is faith. Faith has its foundation in truth and love. We can have faith, if we so choose, no matter what the situation. And, if we so choose, we can expect ultimate good to come forth.

Have I made my choice?

Today I Pray
May I be grateful for my God-given ability to make a choice. Out of this gratitude and my sense of the nearness of God, I have chosen faith. May the faith, as my chosen way, become strong enough to move mountains, strong enough to keep me free of my compulsion, mighty enough to hold back the tide of temptations which threaten me, optimistic enough to look past my present pain to ultimate good.

Today I Will Remember
With faith, nothing is impossible.

Hazelden Foundation


July 21, 2014 - The Eye Opener

 The Eye Opener
Monday, July 21, 2014
 
To the new persons on our Program who might be confused about the Moral Inventory, it would seem that for a starter it will suffice if they will sum up each night their actions on the past day. If their honest appraisal of that day meets their approval, if it is definitely better than the days preceding, then actually the Moral Inventory is in operation whether recognized as such or not. If daily you are making a moral study of your thoughts and actions, your defects will be noticeable and you will instinctively take steps to correct them.

Hazelden Foundation


July 20, 2014 - Step by Step

 Step by Step
Sunday, July 20, 2014
 
“I had my first drink when I was 15 and my alcoholic potential had ripened me to the point of necessary escapism. I needed alcohol from that night on, and it in turn used me, ruling my life for three years.
“I never drank socially; I drank as often and as much as I could. My eventual goal was to drink myself to death. All my life, it seemed, was spent on the outside looking in. I had been unhappy, lonely and scared for so long that the discovery of liquor seemed to be the answer to all my problems.” - Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Part II (“They Stopped in Time”), Ch 7 (“A Teenager’s Story”), p 353.

Today … out of the mouths of babes. This excerpt from the Big Book by a sufferer who crossed the threshold of alcoholism at age 15 and began recovery at 18 speaks to all of us on multiple levels. First, youth and even a relatively short drinking career do not shield us from alcoholism; second, if like this child we are drinking or drank as an “escape” or a solution “to all (our) problems,” we have by clinical definition established the link between alcohol and addiction even if it is emotional or psychological in nature. If I have any deep-seeded worry about my drinking or if I am desperately clawing for excuses to quiet others who have their worries, grant me the strength and honesty to heed the voices of warning; their experience may be the lifeline I might not yet know I need. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2014


July 20, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

 Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, July 20, 2014
 
AA Thought for the Day
We must be loyal to the group and to each member of it. We must never accuse members behind their backs or even to their faces. It’s up to them to tell us themselves if anything is wrong. More than that, we must try not to think bad things about any members, because if we do, we’re consciously or unconsciously hurting that person. We must be loyal to each other if AA is going to be successful. While we’re in this lifeboat, trying to save ourselves and each other from alcoholism, we must be truly and sincerely helpful to each other.

Am I a loyal member of my group?

Meditation for the Day
Carry out God’s guidance as best you can. Leave the results to Him. Do this obediently and faithfully with no question that if the working out of the guidance is left in God’s hands, the results will be all right. Believe that the guidance God gives you has already been worked out by God to produce the required results according to your case and in your circumstances. So follow God’s guidance according to your conscience. God has knowledge of your individual life and character, your capabilities and your weaknesses.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may live according to the dictates of my conscience. I pray that I may leave the results to God.

Hazelden Foundation


July 20, 2014 - A Day at a Time

 A Day at a Time
Sunday, July 20, 2014
 
Reflection for the Day
It is the privilege of wisdom to listen,” Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote. If I try as hard as I can to cultivate the art of listening – uncritically and without making premature judgments – chances are great that I’ll progress more rapidly in my recovery. If I try as hard as I can to listen to the feelings and thoughts expressed – rather than to the “speaker” – I may be blessed with an unexpectedly helpful idea. The essential quality of good listening is humility, which reflects the fact that God’s voice speaks to us even through the least and most inarticulate of His children.

Does a holier-than-thou attitude sometimes close my mind to the shared suggestions of others?

Today I Pray
May my Higher Power keep me from being “holier-than-thou” with anyone whose manner or language or opposite point of view or apparent lack of knowledge turns me off to what they are saying. May I be listening always for the voice of God, which can be heard through the speech of any one of us.

Today I Will Remember
Hear the speech, not the speaker.

Hazelden Foundation


1-20 of thousands of Blogs   

Previous Posts
July 24, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 24th, 2014
July 24, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 24th, 2014
July 24, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 24th, 2014
July 24, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 24th, 2014
July 23, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 23rd, 2014
July 23, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 23rd, 2014
July 23, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 23rd, 2014
July 23, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 23rd, 2014
July 22, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 22nd, 2014
July 22, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 22nd, 2014
July 22, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 22nd, 2014
July 22, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 22nd, 2014
July 22, 2014 - Today's Gift from Hazelden, posted July 22nd, 2014
July 21, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 21st, 2014
July 21, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 21st, 2014
July 21, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 21st, 2014
July 21, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 21st, 2014, 1 comment
July 20, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 20th, 2014
July 20, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 20th, 2014
July 20, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 20th, 2014
July 20, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 20th, 2014
July 19, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 19th, 2014, 2 comments
July 19, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 19th, 2014
July 19, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 19th, 2014
July 19, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 19th, 2014
July 18, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 18th, 2014
July 18, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 18th, 2014
July 18, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 18th, 2014
July 18, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 18th, 2014
July 17, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 17th, 2014
July 17, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 17th, 2014
July 17, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 17th, 2014
July 17, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 17th, 2014
July 16, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 16th, 2014
July 16, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 16th, 2014
July 16, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 16th, 2014
July 16, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 16th, 2014
July 15, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 15th, 2014
July 15, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 15th, 2014
July 15, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 15th, 2014
July 15, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 15th, 2014
July 14, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 14th, 2014
July 14, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 14th, 2014
July 14, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 14th, 2014
July 14, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 14th, 2014
July 13, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 13th, 2014
July 13, 2014 - Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted July 13th, 2014
July 13, 2014 - A Day at a Time, posted July 13th, 2014
July 13, 2014 - The Eye Opener, posted July 13th, 2014
July 12, 2014 - Step by Step, posted July 12th, 2014
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