Aug. 16, 2018 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

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Step by Step

Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018

“I came to AA simply because there were no other doors of help open to me. In AA, I have had to be torn down and then put back together differently. No one could live such an irresponsible, immature life as I had without consequences. AA made it possible for me to face the consequences of my past actions. After I came to AA, I was divorced by my wife; I lost my practice; I was legally restrained from seeing my children; I went broke …Only AA kept me from running away.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “They Stopped in Time,” Ch 14 (“Growing Up All Over Again”), p 420.

Today, taking up an AA recovery program in and of itself does not excuse me from responsibility to the consequences of my drinking – nor should it. In facing those consequences, my life in early recovery may become even more difficult than it was when I was drinking because recovery may require complete reconstruction of my entire being. Part of that rebuilding may be to answer for my misconduct of my drinking days. If I am in the position of accountability although I am not drinking, the purpose of my AA program in part is to give me the tools to accept responsibility and consequences without a slip or relapse. And in taking responsibility and paying whatever dues I owe, I may be able to see myself grow into sobriety by clearing away the garbage of my drinking days. If today should be one of judgment for me, I will embrace it as an opportunity to be done with the bad once and for all and move forward by accepting whatever may be my just due. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2018

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Aug. 16, 2018 – Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

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A Day at a Time

Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018

Reflection for the Day

Inventory-taking isn’t always done in red ink. It’s a rare day when we haven’t done something right. As I uncover and face my shortcomings, my many good qualities will be revealed to me also, reminding me that they have the same reality as my faults. Even when we’ve tried hard and failed, for instance, we can chalk that up as one of the greatest credits of all. I’ll try to appreciate my good qualities, because they not only offset the faults, but give me a foundation on which to grow. It’s just as self-deceptive to discount what’s good in us as to justify what is not.

Can I take comfort in my positive qualities, accepting myself as a friend?

Today I Pray

If I find only defects when I look in that Fourth Step mirror, may I be sure that I am missing something – namely my good points. Although my ultra-modesty may be approved socially, may I learn that it is just as dishonest as rationalizing away my faults. Even an out-and-out failure, if examined from all sides, may turn up a plus along with the obvious minuses.

Today I Will Remember

To give myself, if not an A for effort, at least an average B minus.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 16, 2018 – Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018

AA Thought for the Day

“The alcoholic is absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self-knowledge. We must admit we can do nothing about it ourselves. Willpower and self-knowledge will never help in the strange mental blank spots when we are tempted to drink. An alcoholic mentally is in a very sick condition. The last flicker of conviction that we can do the job ourselves must be snuffed out. The spiritual answer and the program of action are the only hope. Only spiritual principles will solve our problems. We are completely helpless apart from Divine help. Our defense against drinking must come from a Higher Power.”

Have I accepted the spiritual answer and the program of action?

Meditation for the Day

Rest now until life, eternal life, flowing through your veins and heart and mind, bids you to bestir yourself. Then glad work will follow. Tired work is never effective. The strength of God’s spirit is always available to the tired mind and body. He is your physician and your healer. Look to these quiet times of communion with God for rest, for peace, for cure. Then rise refreshed in spirit and go out to work, knowing that your strength is able to meet any problems because it is reinforced by God’s power.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that the peace I have found will make me effective. I pray that I may be relieved of all strain during this day.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 15, 2018 – Readings in Recovery: Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

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Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018

Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Differences
. . . with no hidden cutting edge

The respect and dignity a couple shows each other set the table from which they are nourished for all other activities in their lives. Any feeling can be expressed in respectful or disrespectful ways. Anger is one of the most difficult to express respectfully. Everyone feels frustrated and angry at times. The crucial thing to learn is how to be angry and still be respectful – how to deal with our impatience without blame or put-downs. Many of us have to learn how to love without being possessive, how to be playful in a lighthearted way with no hidden cutting edge. When we treat our partner with disrespect, we pour poison into our own well. It may feel satisfying at first, but the long-term consequences are not good to live with.

When we are committed to respect in our relationship, we continue to learn at even deeper levels what respect truly means. We find that simply listening to each other – and letting in our differences – is a form of respect that nourishes us.

Name a difference between you and your mate that you respect.

You are reading from the book:

The More We Find In Each Other by Merle Fossum and Mavis Fossum

The More We Find in Each Other by Merle Fossum and Mavis Fossum. © 1992 by Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 15, 2018 – Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

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The Eye Opener

Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018

Frequently people who are only sober in AA try to carry our Message to other alcoholics without realizing that, if you have only sobriety, you can only carry sobriety. In order to carry the AA way of life, you must live the AA way of life.

The fact that you are sober doesn’t imply that you are on the Program. In fact, many outside of AA have longer periods of sobriety behind them than anyone in AA. They started before AA was started. Whether in or out of AA, if you have sobriety only, you are a dried-up drunk in my book.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 15, 2018 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

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Step by Step

Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018

“To my mind, drinking didn’t have anything to do with not going through with things. I don’t know whether I drank to cover up being a failure, or whether I drank and then missed the deals. I was able to rationalize it anyway. I can well remember over a long period of years when I thought I was the only person in the world who knew that sooner or later I was going to get drunk.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “Personal Stories,” Ch 2 (“He Had to be Shown”), p 198.

Today, no wasting physical or emotional energy on asking, “Why me?” Did I drink because I was a failure, or maybe to celebrate being successful and I “earned” the right to drink? Or maybe I couldn’t overcome some devastating loss and collapsed into a heap of self-pity or bruised ego. More likely the reason was that I was a predestined alcoholic and, more likely, I barreled toward masochistic self-destruction. Today, in recovery, “Why me?” is no longer relevant because what is, is, and the First Step of admitting I am powerless makes “Why me?” a pointless question. Today, instead of lamenting why I am an alcoholic, I’ll focus on the program that keeps me a sober one. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2018

Aug. 15, 2018 – Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

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A Day at a Time

Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018

Reflection for the Day

It’s often said that you can’t tell a book by its cover. For many of us, our “covers” or surface records haven’t looked all that bad; it seemed at first that making an inventory would be “a breeze.” As we proceeded, we were dismayed to discover that our “covers” were relatively blemish-free only because we’d deeply buried our defects beneath layers of self-deception. For that reason, self-searching can be a long-term process; it must go on for as long as we remain blind to the flaws that ambushed us into addiction and misery.

Will I try to face myself as I am, correcting whatever is keeping me from growing into the person I want to be?

Today I Pray

May God aid me in my soul-searching, because I have hidden my faults neatly from friends, family and especially myself. If I feel more “sinned against, than sinning,” may I take it as a clue that I need to dig deeper for the real me.

Today I Will Remember

Taking stock of myself is buying stock in my future.

Hazelden Foundation