Oct. 29, 2020 – Readings in Recovery: Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020

Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Rather than getting lost in lofty philosophical discussions, we can look around us for examples of loyalty. What does it really mean to be trustworthy, steady, and reliable in our daily lives? What cause, country, group, or person inspires us to be devoted—far beyond casual interest—with wholehearted commitment? Who is really deserving of our loyalty, worthy of our ongoing willingness to be in their corner, to be tight and remain bonded with them, no matter what is happening?

Dogs embody what it means to be loyal. With their attentive presence, willingness to serve, and protective spirit, they often place themselves in danger for our benefit. They remind us to accept less than perfection and to make allowances for human weakness.

The fierce commitment and respect inherent in loyalty can infuse our daily actions with an unshakable determination to keep revisiting the Ninth Step, to continue making amends, because we can finally be loyal to our highest values and self. With loyalty comes trust. Trust develops over time and is continually reinforced by honesty. Those we have harmed may take some time before they trust us again. Some never will. Either way, we continue to be true to ourselves.

I will look all around me to learn from the profound gifts of everyday loyalty.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 29, 2020 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020

” …(A) terrible thing happened. I ran out of people! Even my family didn’t have much use for me. When they saw me coming, they locked up the silverware and everything else of value. I felt very lonely and hurt, because nobody understood me. I felt very sorry for myself and attempted suicide on many occasions, making sure there was always somebody within reaching distance to see that I didn’t finish the job. Any time I tried to kill myself, I was either drunk or pilled up or both …” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “They Lost Nearly All,” Ch 4 (“Belle of the Bar”), pp 478-79.

Today: ” I ran out of people, ” …nobody understood me,” “I felt very sorry for myself.” What once was my prescription for life now sounds pathetic. I refused or couldn’t understand anyone else because I was too self-absorbed. I felt sorry for myself because I had nothing to give or even offer anyone else. And I ran out of people because I drove them away with my expectations that they make my wants and needs their total focus. As we sober up, we recover. As we recover, we see what we allowed our addictions to do to us and, in the end, what they did was to make us pathetic souls. In sobriety, I have no use, no excuse, no need and don’t want to be that pathetic creature who expects to be the focus of everyone else’s attention and, when I’m not, lash out in self-righteous indignation. I am not perfect in sobriety, but I don’t have to be. And I’m grateful to say I’m not the pathetic self-seeker I once was. So it goes for progress in recovery. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2020

Oct. 29, 2020 – Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020

AA Thought for the Day

My relationships with my children have greatly improved. Those children who saw me drunk and were ashamed, those children who turned away in fear and even loathing have seen me sober and like me, have turned to me in confidence and trust and have forgotten the past as best they could. They have given me a chance for companionship that I had completely missed. I am their father or their mother now. Not just “that person that Mom or Dad married and God knows why.” I am a part of my home now.

Have I found something that I had lost?

Meditation for the Day

Our true measure of success in life is the measure of spiritual progress that we have revealed in our lives. Others should be able to see a demonstration of God’s will in our lives. The measure of His will that those around us have seen worked out in our daily living is the measure of our true success. We can do our best to be a demonstration each day of the power of God in human lives, an example of the working out of the grace of God in the hearts of men and women.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may so live that others will see in me something of the working out of the will of God. I pray that my life may be a demonstration of what the grace of God can do.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 29, 2020 – Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020

Reflection for the Day
Virtually all of us suffered the defect of pride when we sought help through The Program, the Twelve Steps and the fellowship of those who truly understood what we felt and where we had been. We learned about our shortcomings – and of pride in particular – and began to replace self-satisfaction with gratitude for the miracle of our recovery, gratitude for the privilege of working with others, and gratitude for God’s gift – which enabled us to turn catastrophe into good fortune.

Have I begun to realize that “pride is to character like the attic to the house – the highest part, and generally the most empty …?”

Today I Pray
God, please tell me if I am banging my shins on my own pride. Luckily for me, The Program has its own built-in check for flaws like this – the clear-eyed vision of the group, which sees in me what I sometimes cannot see myself. May I know that any kind of success has always gone straight to my head, and be watching for it as I begin to reconstruct my confidence.

Today I Will Remember
“Success” can be a setback.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 29, 2020 – Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Eye Opener

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020

We human beings are more miraculous than the ape organically. We do not even have some powers possessed by brute creation – for example, we cannot change color at will as can some reptiles. We can’t change our physical make-up as the tadpole does when it becomes a frog, or a caterpillar when it changes into a butterfly.

Yet we are the miracle of all miracles, for we alone have a soul, which enables us to transcend this planet and commune with God himself.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 28, 2020 – Readings in Recovery: Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020

Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

You can observe a lot just by watching.Yogi Berra

When we watch others, we learn how to “act as if.” We watch a patient person, and then we “act as if” we’re a patient person. The result? Over time, we’ll become a patient person. We watch how good listeners listen, and we “act as if” we know how to listen. Then one day, we realize we’re really listening! We watch people who have faith, and we “act as if” we have it. Then over time, we become spiritual people!

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, help me find You in the people and events of my day.

Action for the Day

I will “act as if” my Higher Power is next to me all through the day.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 28, 2020 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020

Today, if I still hold onto emotions like resentment, anger, grief or bitterness and will not or cannot yet free myself from them, today I at least will not take on other feelings that I cannot handle. Recovery is partly about getting rid of the garbage and self-defeatism acquired before and during my drinking days; it is not about acquiring more of the same. In refusing to take on any more, I at least will have something less to work through and, in fact, might be able to take on one feeling at a time. Today, my recovery will focus on getting rid of what needs to be gone and not on collecting more of what I do not need. All I need to remember is to “Let Go and Let God,” and not take back what I let go. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2020

Oct. 28, 2020 – Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020

AA Thought for the Day
What other rewards have come to me as a result of my new way of living? Each one of us can answer this question in many ways. My relationship with my husband or my wife is on an entirely new plane. The total selfishness is gone and more cooperation has taken its place. My home is a home again. Understanding has taken the place of misunderstanding, recriminations, bickering and resentment. A new companionship has developed which bodes well for the future. “There are homes where fires burn and there is bread, lamps are lit and prayers are said. Though people falter through the dark and nations grope, with God Himself back of these little homes, we still can hope.”

Have I come home?

Meditation for the Day
We can bow to God’s will in anticipation of the thing happening which will, in the long run, be the best for all concerned. It may not always seem the best thing at the present time, but we cannot see as far ahead as God can. We do not know how His plans are laid, we only need to believe that if we trust Him and accept whatever happens as His will in a spirit of faith, everything will work out for the best in the end.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not ask to see the distant scene. I pray that one step may be enough for me.

Hazelden Foundation

Oct. 28, 2020 – Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

A Day at a Time

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020

Reflection for the Day

“Pride, like a magnet, constantly points to one object, self; unlike the magnet, it has no attractive pole, but at all points repels.” – Colton

When the earliest members of The Program discovered just how spiritually prideful they could be, they admonished one another to avoid “instant sainthood.” That old-time warning could be taken as an alibi to excuse us from doing our best, but it’s really The Program’s way of warning against “prideful blindness” and the imaginary perfections we don’t possess.

Am I beginning to understand the difference between pride and humility?

Today I Pray

May God, who in His mercy has saved our lives, keep us from setting ourselves up as the saints and prophets of The Program. May we recognize the value of our experiences for others without getting smug about it. May we remember with humility and love the thousands of other “old hands” who are equally well-versed in its principles.

Today I Will Remember

I will avoid “instant sainthood.”

Hazelden Foundation