Aug. 31, 2013 – Step by Step


Step by Step

Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013

Today, I focus on Step 11 to answer honestly if I have Sought through prayer and meditation to improve (my) conscious contact with God as (I) understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for (me) and the power to carry that out.” In my own Program, simply acknowledging a Higher Power and looking to Him to guide me through my recovery is not enough; I must also seek what He requires of me and the knowledge and power to do what He wants of me. But why is the 11th Step important to both the early and later stages of recovery? In seeking our Higher Power’s will or expectations of us, we are getting away from one of our addiction’s most dangerous and contributory spiritual afflictions – selfishness. I dare not risk what progress I have made or seek by holding on to those poisonous character and spiritual defects like selfishness, anger, hate and bitterness that will undermine either the quality of my recovery or my very recovery itself. Today, I seek through prayer and meditation the will of my Higher Power, not mine, to repay and maintain the gift of recovery the Program has given me. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2013

 

Aug. 31, 2013 – Twenty-Four Hours a Day


Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013

AA Thought for the Day
“Call on new prospects while they are still jittery. They may be more receptive when depressed. See them alone if possible. Tell them enough about your drinking habits and experiences to encourage them to speak of themselves. If they wish to talk, let them do so. If they are not communicative, talk about the troubles liquor has caused you, being careful not to moralize or lecture. When they see you know all about the drinking game, commence to describe yourself as an alcoholic and tell them how you learned you were sick.”

Am I ready to talk about myself to new prospects?

Meditation for the Day
Try not to give way to criticism, blame, scorn or judgment of others, when you are trying to help them. Effectiveness in helping others depends on controlling yourself. You may be swept away by a temporary natural urge to criticize or blame, unless you keep a tight rein on your emotions. You should have a firm foundation of spiritual living which makes you truly humble, if you are going to really help other people. Go easy on them and be hard on yourself. That is the way you can be used most to uplift a despairing spirit. And seek no personal recognition for what you are used by God to accomplish.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may try to avoid judgment and criticism. I pray that I may always try to build up others instead of tearing them down.

Hazelden Foundation

 

Aug. 31, 2013 – A Day at a Time


A Day at a Time
Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013

Reflection for the Day
From time to time, I begin to think I know what God’s will is for other people. I say to myself, “This person ought to be cured of his terminal illness,” or, “That one ought to be freed from the torment she’s going through,” and I begin to pray for those specific things. My heart is in the right place when I pray in such fashion, but those prayers are based on the supposition that I know God’s will for the person for whom I pray. The Program teaches me, instead, that I ought to pray that God’s will – whatever it is – be done for others as well as for myself.

Will I remember that God is ready to befriend me, but only to the degree that I trust Him?

Today I Pray
I praise God for the chance to help others. I thank God also for making me want to help others, for taking me out of my tower of self so that I can meet and share with and care about people. Teach me to pray that “Thy will be done” in the spirit of love, which God inspires in me.

Today I Will Remember
I will put my trust in the will of God.

Hazelden Foundation

 

Aug. 31, 2013 – The Eye Opener


The Eye Opener
Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013

It is a constant source of amazement to some of the Old-Timers to answer a call for help from some alcoholic and to find that the person in trouble is a neighbor, relative, friend or fellow employee or a member of AA.

It sometimes happens that the new man preferred it that way as he would rather discuss the matter with a stranger than someone near him.

It is also true that some of us are not quick to grasp the opportunities to pass the Message along. If you see a man is beyond his depth and can’t swim, why should you wait for him to yell for help? He might be deaf and dumb.

Hazelden Foundation

 

Aug. 31, 2013 – Today’s Gift from Hazelden


Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013

Today’s thought from Hazelden is:

Constant togetherness is fine –
But only for Siamese twins.

–Victoria Billings

Newcomer
I heard someone in recovery say, “I don’t have relationships, I take hostages.” Everyone laughed, but it left me feeling insecure about how to evaluate my own relationships. How close is too close?

Sponsor
Though we may not feel comfortable with many other people when we first get here, perhaps there’s one particular person we feel we can trust – a mate, an old friend who has remained loyal, a peer in recovery, a sponsor. We may have the desire to check everything with this other person, and we find ourselves spending hours on the phone or in his or her company.

Strong, healthy relationships are vital. They’re a blessing, not a problem. Problems arise if we feel so dependent on another person’s approval that we lose touch with our feelings and preferences – if we isolate as a pair, always protected from the joys and challenges of new friendships or if our constant togetherness creates a pressure-cooker buildup of intensity. Recovery requires thoughtful self-examination and self-challenge. Though others can offer to witness, support, and love us, our recovery work is ours alone. It takes courage to allow ourselves and others autonomy with in a relationship.

Today, as I include people in my life, I leave myself and others room to be and to grow.

From the book:

If You Want What We Have by Joan Larkin

If You Want What We Have © 1998 by Joan Larkin

 

Aug. 30, 2013 – Step by Step


Step by Step

Friday, Aug. 30, 2013

TodayI take Step 10 for the first time or retake it because it is one of the Program’s most integral maintenance Steps“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” The 10th is the logical extension of the Fourth in which we “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” We cannot and should not believe that our personal inventory and admission of our wrongs is a one-time exercise: not only can those wrongs be resurrected in recovery and even after we’ve asked our Higher Power to remove them, but “new” defects can and do evolve in recovery. But why should we look in the mirror even long after our last drink or use? Failing to do so risks old character defects to rise again, possibly undetected, and a fearless honesty will likely tell us that our active addiction was fueled by those defects. And a relapse, even a so-called “slip,” is too high a price to pay for neglecting our maintenance of the progress we achieve in the Fourth Step. Today, I have to muster the honesty required of a continued personal inventory – my recovery is too precious a gift to risk. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2013

 

Aug. 30, 2013 – Twenty-Four Hours a Day


Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, Aug. 30, 2013

AA Thought for the Day
“Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as extensive work with other alcoholics. Carry the message to other alcoholics. You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail. Life will take on a new meaning for you. To watch people recover, to see them help others in turn, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow about you, to have a host of friends, this is an experience you must not miss.”

Am I always ready and willing to help other alcoholics?

Meditation for the Day
One secret of abundant living is the art of giving. The paradox of life is that the more you give, the more you have. If you lose your life in the service of others, you will save it. You can give abundantly and so live abundantly. You are rich in one respect – you have a spirit that is inexhaustible. Let no mean or selfish thought keep you from sharing this spirit. Of love, of help, of understanding and of sympathy, give and keep giving. Give your personal ease and comfort, your time, your money and most of all, yourself. And you will be living abundantly.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may live to give. I pray that I may learn this secret of abundant living.

Hazelden Foundation