Oct. 24, 2021 – Readings in Recovery: Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021

Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

I could accept everybody else’s vulnerability — but not my own.Mae L

We’ve all heard it’s more blessed to give than to receive. Fewer of us have heard that receiving is equally blessed and also a lot more difficult. Does someone need our compassion, our time, our money? Just ask us, and we’ll give it. Gift giving is just our cup of tea. Oh, but to be on the receiving end—that is another matter. To wholly accept a love-gift is beyond many of us. Receiving is painful. It makes us nervous and suspicious. It makes us feel vulnerable. We are strangers to the wisdom that receiving is the deepest form of giving.

Authentic love not only forgives the vulnerability and mistakes of others, but receives that forgiveness. To wholly accept forgiveness means we can’t go around flogging ourselves for our mistakes and failures. We have to let it go and receive the truth that we are pardoned.

To receive the love of others is to remove the mask of perfection, and forgive ourselves for being human.

Today, I will examine my behavior as a receiver as well as a giver of love.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 24, 2021 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step

Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021

“The alcoholic may say to himself in the most casual way, ‘It won’t burn me this time, so here’s how!’ Or perhaps he doesn’t think at all. How often have some of us begun to drink in this nonchalant way, and after the third or fourth, pounded on the bar and said to ourselves, ‘For God’s sake, how did I ever get started again?’ Only to have that thought supplanted by, ‘Well, I’ll stop with the sixth drink.’ Or, ‘What’s the use anyhow?'”
 – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 2 (“There Is a Solution”), p 24.

Today: what’s the use anyhow? There isn’t any if I cave into the myth that “just one” won’t hurt. “Just one” triggers the craving that leads to “just two,” then “just six” and, in the end, “What’s the use anyhow?” So much for “just one.” It’s the one that sets off the craving, temptation or thirst for the “just two” or “just six.” How, then, not to feed a craving, temptation or thirst? Simple! Don’t drink the first one! We’ve been handed the tools to steer clear of the mythical “just one.” All we need do is pick them up and put them into action. Today, we have the power and choice to prevent that potentially fatal conclusion of our drinking days: what’s the use anyhow. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2021

Oct. 24, 2021 – Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021

AA Thought for the Day

Fourth, I have turned to a Power greater than myself. Thank God, I am no longer at the center of the universe. All the world does not revolve around me any longer. I am only one among many. I have a Father in heaven and I am only one of His children and a small one at that. But I can depend on Him to show me what to do and to give me the strength to do it. I am on the Way and the whole power of the universe is behind me when I do the right thing. I do not have to depend entirely on myself any longer. With God, I can face anything.

Is my life in the hands of God?

Meditation for the Day

The grace of God is an assurance against all evil. It holds out security to the believing soul. The grace of God means safety in the midst of evil. You can be kept unspotted by the world through the power of His grace. You can have a new life of power. But only in close contact with the grace of God is its power realized. In order to realize it and benefit from it, you must have daily quiet communion with God, so that the power of His grace will come unhindered into your soul.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be kept from evil by the grace of God. I pray that henceforth I will try to keep myself more unspotted by the world.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 24, 2021 – Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time

Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021

Reflection for the Day

So many of us in the Program went through childhood – as well as part of our adult lives – emotionally shackled with the terrible burden called shyness. We found it difficult to walk into crowded rooms, to converse with even our friends, to make eye contact with anyone. The agonies we suffered! We learned in The Program that shyness is just another manifestation of self-centered fear, which is the root of all our character defects. Shyness, specifically, is fear of what others think or might think about us. To our enormous relief, our shyness gradually leaves us as we work The Program and interact with others.

Am I aware that I’m okay as long as I don’t concentrate on me?

Today I Pray

God, may I be grateful that I am getting over my shyness, after years of pulling back from people, squirming, blushing, blurting out all the “wrong things” or saying nothing at all – then reliving the agonies and imagining what I should have said and done. May I know that it has taken a full-blown addiction and a lot of caring people to convince me that I’m okay – and you’re okay, he’s okay and so is she.

Today I Will Remember

A cure for shyness is caring about somebody else.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 24, 2021 – Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener

Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021

Resolutions, like clay pigeons, are made to be broken. They are nearly always made in sincerity, but the very act of making a resolution is a confession on the part of the maker of his inability to keep it otherwise. As resolutions are contrary to the subconscious wishes of the maker, they are almost surely doomed from the start.

If a person really wanted what he resolved, he would do it without the resolution, for we are prone to do those things that we really want to do.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 23, 2021 – Readings in Recovery: Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021

Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. Step Ten of Al-Anon

Once we have worked our way to this Step, we can maintain and increase our self-esteem by regularly working Step Ten. This Step incorporates the process we have gone through in Steps Four through Nine. We do not work this Step to punish ourselves or to hold ourselves under a constantly critical and demeaning microscope. We do it to maintain self-esteem and harmony in our relationship with ourselves and others. We do it to stay on track.

When an issue or problem emerges and needs our attention, identify it and openly discuss it with at least one safe person and God. Accept it. Become willing to let go of it. Ask God to take it from us. Have a change of heart by the willingness to make whatever amend is called for—to do what is necessary to take care of ourselves. Take an appropriate action to resolve the matter. Then let go of the guilt and shame.

This is a simple formula for taking care of ourselves. This is how we change. This is how we become changed. This is the process for healing and health. This is the process for achieving self-responsibility and self-esteem.

The next time we do something that bothers us, the next time we feel off track or off course, we don’t have to waste our time or energy feeling ashamed. We can take a Tenth Step. Let the process happen. And move on with our life.

God, help me make this Step and other Steps a habitual way of responding to life and my issues. Help me know that I am free to live, to allow myself to fully experiment with and experience life. If I get off course, or if an issue arises that demands my attention, help me deal with it by using the Tenth Step.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 23, 2021 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step

Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021

Today, if some habit seems too strong for me to overcome, I won’t waste energy to fight what I shouldn’t: I’ll simply change the game rules. If being drunk was habitual, I’ll make being sober habitual. If I have a temptation, craving or compulsion, I’ll take a 10th or 12th Step. If lying was or still is a habit, telling the truth will be the new habit and in the process, I might learn how much easier honesty is compared to the work it takes to keep the lies going. If interacting with anyone was from an antagonistic or condescending perspective, I’ll make a habit of asking my Higher Power to remind me that I wouldn’t tolerate anyone treating me as I treat them. If dodging responsibility was or still is a habit, I’ll face the music if for no other reason than to be done with the consequences. If I think my perspective of any issue is the only logical one and that everyone needs to hear it, I’ll ask my Higher Power that I consider the possibility that mine might not be the only opinion, and certainly not the best. Habits die hard, and humans – addicts and non-addicts alike – are notoriously resistant to change. Today I’ll simply change the game rules and, in the end, make sobriety instead of alcohol my addiction. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2021

Oct. 23, 2021 – Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021

AA Thought for the Day

Third, I have learned how to be honest. What a relief! No more ducking or dodging. No more tall tales. No more pretending to be what I am not. My cards are on the table, for all the world to see. “I am what I am,” as Popeye used to say in the comics. I have had an unsavory past. I am sorry, yes. But it cannot be changed now. All that is yesterday and is done. But now my life is an open book. Come and look at it, if you want to. I’m trying to do the best I can. I will fail often, but I won’t make excuses. I will face things as they are and not run away.

Am I really honest?

Meditation for the Day

Though it may seem a paradox, we must believe in spiritual forces which we cannot see more than in material things which we can see, if we are going to truly live. In the last analysis, the universe consists more of thought or mathematical formulas than it does of matter as we understand it. Between one human being and another, only spiritual forces will suffice to keep them in harmony. These spiritual forces we know, because we can see their results although we cannot see them. A changed life – a new personality – results from the power of unseen spiritual forces working in us and through us.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may believe in the Unseen. I pray that I may be convinced by the results of the Unseen which I do see.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 23, 2021 – Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time

Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021

Reflection for the Day

“One’s own self is well hidden from one’s own self,” a renowned philosopher once wrote. “Of all mines of treasure, one’s own is the last to be dug up.” The Twelve Steps have enabled me to unearth my “own self,” the one that for so long was buried beneath my desperate need for approval from others. Thanks to The Program and my Higher Power, I’ve begun acquiring a true sense of self and a comfortable sense of confidence. No longer do I have to react chameleon-like, changing my coloration from one moment to the next, fruitlessly trying to be all things to all people.

Do I strive, at all times, to be true to myself?

Today I Pray

I pray that I may be honest with myself, and that I will continue – with the help of God and my friends – to try to get to know the real me. May I know that I cannot suddenly be a pulled-together, totally defined, completely consistent personality; it may take a while to develop into that personality, to work out my values and my priorities. May I know now that I have a good start on being who I want to be.

Today I Will Remember

I’m getting to be who I want to be.

Hazelden Foundation