Aug. 16, 2017 – Readings in Recovery: Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

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Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017

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

I am determined to maintain the perpendicular position.
 — Lucy Stone

Perpendicular lines make right angles; they make possible extensions of both height and breadth. Right angles are weight bearing. We speak of asserting something “squarely,” making perpendiculars.

People who speak their minds freely and assert their individuality feel perpendicular; the corners they create, by their points of view, are sturdy and open. Others can use them to build structures on.

It’s important to claim the perpendicular, even though we may feel pressured into curved or parallel positions. If we’re centered in ourselves, others won’t throw us off balance. Each of us needs to find our own center so that we can occupy our own place. Others will recognize us. Together we’ll build high and wide.

My remotest ancestors dared to point their spines upright. I’ll carry on the project they began.

You are reading from the book:

The Promise of a New Day by Karen Casey and Martha Vanceburg

The Promise of a New Day by Karen Casey & Martha Vanceburg. © 1983, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 16, 2017 – Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

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The Eye Opener

Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017

The older some of us get in AA, the more we notice a tendency on our part to become a little bit less tolerant, a little less understanding in our relationship with the man still having trouble. We have been so long removed from the actual suffering that we are losing some of our understanding.

This is a good time to pick out the messiest case we can find and get back in the groove again. We can’t afford to forget that we, too, are alcoholics and, but for the Grace of God, we would be in just as bad shape.

We may be years away from our last drunk, but we are only one drink away from our next one. Don’t lose the common touch.

Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 16, 2017 – Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

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A Day at a Time

Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017

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, 2017 – Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017

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. 16, 2017 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

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Step by Step

Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017

“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., 2017

Aug. 15, 2017 – Readings in Recovery: Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

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Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017

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

Friendship and Love

Friendships or marriages based on “dire need” or physical security are doomed to fail if each person in the relationship does not grow beyond his or her limited ways of thinking and reacting.

The ideal relationship is one in which each partner strives to grow. It is an ever-expanding commitment, mutually supportive of healthy interdependence. A healthy relationship encourages the seeking of wider mental and spiritual horizons; it is never threatened permanently by them.

TODAY Do I give my loved ones enough room to grow? Do I encourage my friends or mate to do things without me? Am I threatened by change or do I welcome it? Do I have the courage to do things on my own, even if my loved ones do not give me support? Do I have the courage and consideration to share my changes with those I love?

Let the purpose of all marriages and friendships alike be the deepening of the spirit and the enrichment of the soul.

You are reading from the book:

The Reflecting Pond by Liane Cordes

The Reflecting Pond by Liane Cordes. © 1981 by Hazelden Foundation

Aug. 15, 2017 – Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

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The Eye Opener

Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017

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