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

The Eye Opener
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

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

A Day at a Time
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

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, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Today, I am okay! I will not let the clutter of my alcoholic past, its regrets and uncertainty about 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. Today, I am okay. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2015

April 20, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Monday, April 20, 2015

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

April 20, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Monday, April 20, 2015

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Monday, April 20, 2015

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, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Monday, April 20, 2015
 
Today, I take small steps instead of an "easier, softer way" of giant leaps toward the goal of recovery. My alcoholism and its companion physical, emotional and spiritual diseases developed over time; their solution, then, is 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 through the Steps in thirst for the promises of sobriety. Failing to give full and complete attention to each Step 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., 2015

April 19, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Sunday, April 19, 2015

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 19, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Sunday, April 19, 2015

Reflection for the Day
As we continue to make these vital choices and so move toward these high aspirations, our sanity returns and the compulsion of our former addictions vanishes. We learn, in the words of Plutarch, that, "A pleasant and happy life does not come from external things. Man draws from within himself, as from a spring, pleasure and joy."

Am I learning to "travel first class" inside?

Today I Pray
The grace of God has showed me how to be happy again. May the wisdom of God teach me that the source of that happiness is within me, in my new values, my new sense of self-worth, my new and open communication with my Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember
Happiness comes from within.

Hazelden Foundation

April 19, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Sunday, April 19, 2015

AA Thought for the Day
Since I've been putting sobriety into my life, I've been taking out a lot of good things. I can describe it best as a kind of quiet satisfaction. I feel good. I feel right with the world, on the right side of the fence. As long as I put sobriety into my life, almost everything I take out is good. The satisfaction you get out of living a sober life is made up of a lot of little things. You have the ambition to do things you didn't feel like doing when you were drinking.

Am I getting satisfaction out of living a sober life?

Meditation for the Day
It is a glorious way - the upward way. There are wonderful discoveries in the realm of the spirit. There are tender intimacies in the quiet times of communion with God. There is an amazing, almost incomprehensible understanding of the other person. On the upward way, you can have all the strength you need from that Higher Power. You cannot make too many demands on Him for strength. He gives you all the power you need, as long as you are moving along the upward way.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may see the beautiful horizons ahead on the upward way. I pray that I may keep going forward to the more abundant life.

Hazelden Foundation

April 19, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Sunday, April 19, 2015

Today, I will feel, and what I feel most is gratitude that I have been given the gift to feel other than a hangover, the loss of focus and concentration, the fear of what I said and did last night but can't remember, fear of promises I cannot keep. All else, I will feel, good and bad, grateful for the good and remorse and regret for the bad. And if I feel the need to cry, I will cry with the good and the bad, but will hold onto the good and use it as a stepping stone to tomorrow and I ask my Higher Power to take from me the bad because I cannot and choose not to hold onto it any longer. If I feel angry, I will feel it - then let go and let God. If I feel a resentment, I will not allow its poison to infect my today and threaten my tomorrow; instead, I will be grateful that I now have the choice to ask God to take from me that resentment and all else I cannot hold. With all I feel, the good will outweigh the bad and, because it does, I have no reason to drink, no reason to use. I will live, not wallow, in today. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2015

April 18, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Saturday, April 18, 2015

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 18, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Saturday, April 18, 2015

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, April 18, 2015

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, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Saturday, April 18, 2015
 
Today, I recommit myself as a 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 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. As someone in recovery, I cannot expect that what I share with someone will be a private communication if I do not convey the same respect of 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., 2015

April 17, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener
Friday, April 17, 2015

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 17, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time
Friday, April 17, 2015 

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, April 17, 2015 

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, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Friday, April 17, 2015 
 
Today, if I have avoided honesty in a relationship that bean while drinking but now is broken because I have become sober 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 quit drinking. 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 ready or willing to get sober with me. And an unfortunate and unintended product of sobering up may be the reality that I don't like the spouse or partner with whom alcohol was the binding glue. A tough choice may boil down to the fact that I can't sacrifice my sobriety to salvage a relationship that, in recovery, may not be healthy. Today, if I have to end a relationship because I am becoming healthier and the other person isn't, I need only to look to the Program for validation. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2015

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Previous Posts
April 21, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted April 21st, 2015
April 21, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted April 21st, 2015
April 21, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 21st, 2015
April 21, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted April 21st, 2015
April 20, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted April 20th, 2015
April 20, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted April 20th, 2015
April 20, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 20th, 2015
April 20, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted April 20th, 2015
April 19, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted April 19th, 2015
April 19, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted April 19th, 2015
April 19, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 19th, 2015
April 19, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted April 19th, 2015
April 18, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted April 18th, 2015
April 18, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted April 18th, 2015
April 18, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 18th, 2015
April 18, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted April 18th, 2015
April 17, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted April 17th, 2015
April 17, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted April 17th, 2015
April 17, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 17th, 2015
April 17, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted April 17th, 2015
April 16, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted April 16th, 2015
April 16, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted April 16th, 2015
April 16, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 16th, 2015
April 16, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted April 16th, 2015
April 15, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted April 15th, 2015
April 15, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted April 15th, 2015
April 15, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 15th, 2015
April 15, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted April 15th, 2015
April 14, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted April 14th, 2015
April 14, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted April 14th, 2015
April 14, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 14th, 2015
April 14, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted April 14th, 2015
April 13, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted April 13th, 2015
April 13, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted April 13th, 2015
April 13, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 13th, 2015
April 13, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted April 13th, 2015
April 12, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted April 12th, 2015
April 12, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted April 12th, 2015
April 12, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 12th, 2015
April 12, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted April 12th, 2015
April 11, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted April 11th, 2015
April 11, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted April 11th, 2015
April 11, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 11th, 2015
April 11, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted April 11th, 2015
April 10, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted April 10th, 2015, 2 comments
April 10, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted April 10th, 2015
April 10, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day, posted April 10th, 2015
April 10, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step, posted April 10th, 2015
April 9, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener, posted April 9th, 2015
April 9, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time, posted April 9th, 2015
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