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10/18/17 8:25 A

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

The feeling of belonging is a gift.

The feeling of belonging - knowing that we have a place - is one of the most important gifts that two partners can give to each other. When we agree to commit ourselves to a partnership, we give each other the key to our daily lives. We allow our mate to be there with us in a way we would not let others. That means that we can expect to have a place that does not have to be renegotiated every day. This feeling of belonging is a gift, but it must be received. In essence, we say to our partner, "I take my place here in your life because we have our relationship. I will relax. I don't stand at the door and knock. We have already told each other that we are included in each other's lives."

This sense of belonging stands in sharp contrast to those feelings of isolation and alienation that we can feel in so many ways. It does not mean that one partner owns the other or that no boundary or separateness exists. But the joy of connection frees people in relationships to fulfill themselves and carry on their lives while in the close comfort of one they love.

Tell your partner how you know you have a place in her or his life.

Let's walk!


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10/17/17 8:30 A

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

Reflection for the Day

"When a man has reached a condition in which he believes that a thing must happen when he does not wish it, and that what he wishes to happen never will be, this is really the state called desperation," wrote Arthur Schopenhauer. The very real pain of emotional difficulties is sometimes very hard to take while we're trying to maintain sobriety. Yet we learn, in time, that overcoming such problems is the real test of the Program's way of living. Do I believe that adversity gives me more opportunity to grow than does comfort or success?

Today I Pray

May I believe firmly that God, in God's infinite wisdom, does not send me those occasional moments of emotional stress in order to tease my sobriety, but to challenge me to grow in my control and my conviction. May I learn not to be afraid of emotional summits and canyons for the Program has outfitted me for all kinds of terrain.

Today I will remember strength through adversity.

Let's walk!


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10/16/17 8:24 A

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

Self-Help or Mutual Aid?
Assisting Others

The Twelve Step movement is sometimes called a self-help program. This falls short of describing what it really is. Mutual aid might be a better term.

Self-help implies that an individual will help himself or herself. Mutual aid is a much different sort of thing. With mutual aid, we do help ourselves, but we have found that the best way to do this is by helping each other. Self-help says, "I can do it," whereas mutual aid says, "We can do it."

We should not dismiss the idea of self-help or of doing one's best in achieving self-improvement. We must know, however, that we need the assistance and loving help of others for our highest growth. There are times when we will feel helpless and alone. That's when mutual aid will carry the day for us and perhaps even save our lives.

I'll realize today that I have a bond with others, and that I can achieve my highest good only in mutual service with them.

Let's walk!


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10/15/17 11:51 P

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

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly....
--Antoine de Saint Exupery

If we look at the world through suspicious or angry eyes, we'll find a world that mirrors our expectations -- a world where tension will mount, arguments will abound, strife will be present where none need be. However, our experiences in some manner bless us, and we'll recognize that if we look upon them with gratitude. Everything in our path is meant for our good and we'll see the good when our hearts act as the eyes for our minds.

When we see with our hearts, our responses to the turmoil around us, the fighting children, the traffic snarls, the angry lovers, will be soft acceptance. When our hearts guide the action we can accept those things we cannot change, and change those we can. And the heart, as the seat of all wisdom, will always know the difference.

Let's walk!


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10/14/17 9:05 A

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

Where Love and Addiction Meet

The first time my child reached his dimpled little hand out for mine, I was there. And I've tried to be there every time he's reached out to me-and even when he hasn't-ever since. Until, that is, my child became an addict. Addiction has made such a mess of things that I'm no longer sure if I should be within range when he reaches out (or even when he doesn't).

I don't know if my help is hurting this child of mine. I don't know if I should stay silent or speak up. I'm not sure how to love without doing the things that seem loving, or where to put the dreams and conversations and hugs that have gone unused and are piling up. I don't know how to fill my empty arms, or where to put my love for this child who says he hates me. My heart doesn't understand this place where love and addiction meet-it's all confused about what it means to be my son's mom.

I cannot be there for my child in the way life intended, but my love will always be there whenever he reaches out-and even when he doesn't.

I mean, it is the most impossible love . . . it's absolutely fine for me to teach you how to walk and talk, and then you grow up and you head off in the wrong direction toward a cliff. And I'm supposed to just stand there and wave.
Because I Said So

Let's walk!


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10/13/17 6:18 P

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

I had an easy life growing up. I was not serious, and I'm trying to make up for it now.
-- Tom Harding

How we define an easy life may differ because everything is relative. Some of us were raised in prosperous homes, which might have meant we weren't required to seek work or do chores around the house. But that kind of privilege didn't guarantee an easy life. Wealth doesn't eliminate the possibility for abuse of many forms.

To some, the easy life simply means there was little stress, few problems to contend with. Parents were supportive; school work came easy; friends really cared about us. Maybe we feel lucky if that's how our lives evolved, or maybe we are like Tom and feel now that we need to make up for our lives of privilege. Let's seek the counsel of others if that's the case. It's okay to have had the easy route. That doesn't mean we have to pay for it now.

The important element is that we spend the present however we really want to. If we want to be more serious, that's acceptable. If we want to be lazy, that's okay too. If we want to have a positive impact on someone else's life, perhaps someone who had a harder life than we experienced, that's admirable, but not necessary. No one is grading us.

Today I'm free. The past isn't of concern unless I make it so.

Let's walk!


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10/12/17 8:35 A

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

Give to the world the best you have and the best will come back to you.
--Madeline Bridges

Sometimes we feel lazy or bored, and then we don't do our best work. Perhaps we are daydreaming instead of listening closely to what a friend is trying to tell us. When we are not really paying attention to our activities or the people around us, we'll likely miss out on something important because we do receive in equal measure what we give. And this truth works in every aspect of our lives.

When we treat our friends, our families, even people we don't know well with kindness, we'll experience kindness in return. Our own actions and attitudes toward others are what we can expect from others as well.

Let's walk!


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10/11/17 8:14 A

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

Becoming forgiving

The lack of a forgiving spirit hurts our spiritual progress. Being unforgiving causes resentment, which is always a danger to our new way of life.

We have learned that if we forgive, we will be forgiven; but if we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven. So it seems we are just hurting ourselves by not forgiving others.

Am I forgiving?

Higher Power, help me forgive each person I need to forgive today.

Let's walk!


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10/10/17 8:25 A

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

I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure - try to please everybody.
--Herbert Bayard Swope

Principles are rules or codes of conduct we set for ourselves; like being honest, striving to be on time, and taking responsibility for bills and expenses. It is up to us to abide by these principles.

When we compromise a principle for someone else's benefit, we jeopardize the strength of that principle and its importance to us. If we want to be honest, then lying to cover up another's actions compromises that principle. If we want to be on time and someone makes demands that cause us to arrive late, we have compromised ourselves and let someone else's desire dominate.

We need to set certain standards for ourselves and abide by them, even if another person will not be pleased. To let principles trump over the demands and desires of another is a victory for our inner peace. If we are true to ourselves, we will learn we can count on ourselves no matter what.

Is anyone making demands upon my principles? Help me be true to myself and not make compromises I will regret.

Let's walk!


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10/9/17 8:19 A

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

I would be honest, for there are those who trust me.
--Howard Arnold Walter

Some of those around us seem to see only the good in us. They trust and respect us, even when we ourselves may not feel we deserve it.

A young girl once talked about her grandfather. She said, "He was the only person in my life who saw the good in me." She mentioned that she sought to please her grandfather and not disappoint the trust which he placed in her. He brought out the best in her because of the way that he looked at her. Each of us can be like this grandfather by focusing on the good in other people. We can use our spiritual eyes to see love, honesty, trustworthiness, and unselfishness in the heart of another. As we look for the good, we are doing our part to help create it.

Do I see the good in those around me right now?

Let's walk!


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10/8/17 9:02 A

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

Listening and Sharing

"I've found that many of my painful experiences with others are the result of past memories," stated a friend.

"Often I'm not reacting so much to what is going on between me and another person right at the time; I'm responding to some previous wound or hurt from my past that hasn't quite healed. Let me give you an example of what I mean.

"Just the other day, a friend of mine said she needed some time to herself and didn't want to see me for a week. Well, rather than accept her statement, I was hurt. I immediately thought of a past friendship I had helped destroy by being too possessive and demanding. I thought I was making the same mistake again and that my present girl friend was trying to get rid of me, too. I felt so defeated I couldn't respond. I just sat there stunned and tried not to cry.

"My friend was uncomfortable with my change in attitude, but since I wasn't able to communicate what I was feeling, she left feeling at loose ends, too."

"Thank goodness I had enough sense to call her and share my unsettling feelings a day or two after that experience. I found my friend wasn't rejecting me at all. She really did need some time to herself."

Today I will not allow past, painful memories to cripple my current relationships. When I am hurt or confused, I will talk out my feelings and reactions before I make harsh criticisms or assume another's motives.

Let's walk!


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10/7/17 9:09 A

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

Flowers, Not Weeds

When addiction took hold of my son, it grew and spread like a thick, thorny vine, twisting and turning and choking him tight. But it didn't stop there. It kept right on creeping. It crept and crawled its way into my mind, making me sick too. In an Alice in Wonderland kind of way, my sickness is a distorted reflection of his sickness. How sick is that?

I faded, I weakened. I lost my sense of self. Blamed, judged, and berated, I became consumed by the guilt and negative thoughts heaped on me by both myself and others. My common sense and rational thought became warped.

The truth is, negative thoughts and negative people can't take root in my life if I don't let them. My life is like a garden-what grows here is in my control. Unwelcome seeds may drift in on the wind, and renegade runners may sneak in under the fence, but I can pull out the things I don't want in order to make room for the flowers.

Stop watering the weeds in your life and start watering the flowers.
Anonymous

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10/7/17 9:08 A

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

Flowers, Not Weeds

When addiction took hold of my son, it grew and spread like a thick, thorny vine, twisting and turning and choking him tight. But it didn't stop there. It kept right on creeping. It crept and crawled its way into my mind, making me sick too. In an Alice in Wonderland kind of way, my sickness is a distorted reflection of his sickness. How sick is that?

I faded, I weakened. I lost my sense of self. Blamed, judged, and berated, I became consumed by the guilt and negative thoughts heaped on me by both myself and others. My common sense and rational thought became warped.

The truth is, negative thoughts and negative people can't take root in my life if I don't let them. My life is like a garden-what grows here is in my control. Unwelcome seeds may drift in on the wind, and renegade runners may sneak in under the fence, but I can pull out the things I don't want in order to make room for the flowers.

Stop watering the weeds in your life and start watering the flowers.
Anonymous

Let's walk!


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10/6/17 8:23 A

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

The Four "A's"

Dear God, I have learned to live within my limitations and to live up to my capacities as I grow in recovery. As I try to practice the principles of our Program, I will accept the truth that I seek progress and not spiritual perfection. I pray to admit my limitations and remind myself I am only human. I have quit trying to play God.

When I take my inventory and remember the Four "A's" - Acceptance, Awareness, Action, and Attitude – I continue learning to live within my limitations and to live up to my capabilities.

Let's walk!


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10/5/17 8:40 A

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

Children do not know how their parents love them, and they never will till the grave closes over those parents, or till they have children of their own.
--Edmund Vance Cooks

As adults, we may feel we were cheated out of a "normal" childhood because of our parents' emotional, physical, or spiritual failings. We may think they should never be forgiven for their actions or inactions when we were young.

Yet imagine what our lives would be like today if we did not forgive. We would be bitter, stomping angrily through life with a clipboard in hand, ready to write down the name of the next person who crosses us. It's time to throw away the clipboard and the names on it - including the names of our parents.

The program teaches us to love those who come into our lives, even if we don't like them. It teaches us forgiveness through our Higher Power. We do not have to like our parents, but we can love them. By the same token, we need to realize our parents love us in their special way. They aren't perfect - and neither are we.

Help me remember my parents did the best they could with what they had. That's all anyone can really do.

Let's walk!


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10/4/17 8:40 A

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

I like not only to be loved, but also to be told that I am loved . . . the realm of silence is large enough beyond the grave.
--George Eliot

We've all heard many times that we must love ourselves if we're ever to love another. Too often we mistakenly think that means we shouldn't need to hear someone's affirmation of love. That assumption is wrong. Praise from others builds our self-confidence, keeps us on track, aware of how we're presenting ourselves moment by moment.

But many of us didn't develop healthy egos in our youth because we didn't get feedback that affirmed us. We didn't hear we were loved. As adults, we're scrambling to feel confident, to feel sure of our direction and our value to society. And we're hoping to hear we're loved. We can be certain someone close will be helped by hearing our words of love.

There's no time like the present for sharing love.

Let's walk!


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10/3/17 11:16 A

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

It is impossible that anything should be produced if there were nothing existing before.
--Aristotle

Everything comes from something. All the organic compounds in our world come from four elements: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. From these simple ingredients have developed the marvelous chains of self-replicating proteins that fill the planet with jungles, gardens, farms, the swarming life of the sea, and four billion people.

Each of us contains all human possibilities within ourselves. Nothing that we do comes from nowhere; we all have the capacity for great goodness as well as great selfishness and blindness. The choice, at every moment, is ours. What will we use out of our formidable repertoire of responses?

Most of us have a pattern of response that we are comfortable with. Our habitual behavior saves us from the discomfort of always having to make a choice. But in exchange for comfort, we give up a little bit of our spontaneity. Every once in a while, it's good for us to become aware of what our habits are, and what determines our usual behavior.

Today I'll take myself off automatic pilot and navigate the whole course in person.

Let's walk!


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10/2/17 8:41 A

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

THE EVOLVING RELATIONSHIP

.... open up to hope and new possibilities...

Some mornings we may awaken filled with thoughts of what is wrong in our lives. Perhaps we obsess about our failures or the limits of our relationships. If we let ourselves sink into self-loathing, we build a wall that separates us from those things that nurture us and give us joy.

When we awaken to the living and growing world, our spirits lift and open up to hope and new possibilities. Walking along an old sidewalk or across an abandoned parking lot, we see cracks in the concrete or asphalt and new green growth pushing through. Where there is enough soil to hold a seed, there is the possibility of a tree someday. The universe seizes opportunities for renewal that slip through the slightest opening. There is always hope for renewal in our relationships when we are willing to plant the seeds and feed them so they can grow.

Name an experience that has shown you the seeds for new growth.

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10/1/17 3:26 P

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

God gave burdens, also shoulders.
--Yiddish proverb

Some days we wake up, and we know we can't get out of bed. We lie there, trying to force ourselves, but none of the usual motivations work. We may be depressed, we may be grieving, or we may simply be tired. It's hard to resist the temptation to believe that everyone else is functioning with ease. They all show up for work. What's wrong with me? The more frantic we become, the more likely we may lapse into old ways of thinking and behaving in order to get moving.

If we feel we can't get out of bed, there's usually a good reason why. We can give ourselves permission to discover it. By being honest, we will discover how to take care of ourselves. Maybe it's a day to stop and nurture ourselves, not force ourselves to keep going. Only we know what we really need. We do not have to compare ourselves to others or apologize for what we are going through. Instead, we can be gentle, giving our bodies, emotions, and spirits what they require. We can turn the day over to God's will.

I pray for the willingness to make this a day of healing. I will be part of my own renewal.

Let's walk!


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9/30/17 8:56 A

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

Boundaries

Fences are built to keep valuable things safe--to keep children and pets from escaping or running headlong into danger. Roadways have painted lines to keep cars in their own lane, and homes have signs to keep interlopers away. Boundaries keep things in place, keep things just so. Keep problems from popping up. Keep things under control. Boundaries are a necessity.

Boundaries don't need to be wrapped in barbed wire or topped with shards of glass or constructed of three-foot-thick blocks of concrete. Boundaries don't need to be hostile. Or harsh. Boundaries can also be neatly trimmed hedges or flower gardens or silken lengths of rope. Boundaries can be passive. Quiet. They don't have to push and shove--sometimes, they're just there. A definition of space. A reminder not to cross.

Boundaries are what I make of them. They are what I need them to be. To protect myself and others. Boundaries are a necessity.

Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. Don't leave home without them.

Jeff Brown

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9/29/17 8:37 A

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

At Oran, as elsewhere, for lack of time and thinking, people have to love one another without knowing much about it.
--Albert Camus

What is time for? How often we say, "I don't have the time for ______" (meaning our marriages, our friends, our children, our hobbies, our parents, ourselves). Just what is important anyway?

Some people seem to do everything in the margins of their lives, without thinking or knowing much about it. They go to school, get married, have children, get divorced, experience losses, get jobs, all rather offhandedly. Their attention always seems to be somewhere else.

All of us are preoccupied sometimes. And sometimes, in the middle of our lives, the preoccupation clears. "I woke up this morning and took a long look at my life. What have I gotten myself into!" Suddenly, somehow, our full attention is turned on the matter at hand. Suddenly, we have time to think. What's revealed then is the pattern of our lives. Did we make choices at random, irresponsibly? Now that we can see, are there parts we can do over?

I'll endeavor to write my life story in the center of the page, not in the margins.

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9/28/17 8:38 A

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

Look, the wind vane fluttering in the autumn breeze
Takes hold of certain things that cannot be held.
--Feng Chih

When we think we are losing our grip, we have good reason to look up. Consider the moon suspended in the sky, how it continues to come and go, follows its natural law, and never really loses face. Consider the sun, the stars, the seasons, how they refuse to abandon us, to let go of their hold on our lives. And, come closer to home, we can marvel at the magic of small efficient things - the toaster and stove, the light in the room, the words in a good book that are permanent, faithful, and clear. We can consider how music, without saying a word, still speaks to us, and how a few friends, maybe miles away, continue to hang on to the strength of our small and faithful words.

We can keep in mind that we are part of a complex and loving system, and our grip can never be lost.

Let's walk!


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9/27/17 8:23 A

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

Praise God!

We did not create this program on our own, and we did not achieve abstinence by ourselves. Our recovery is a gift, just as life is a gift. Light, the natural world, our nourishment, talents, love, and fellowship - all come from our Higher Power. Our role is to receive, use wisely, share, and enjoy the blessings God has showered upon us.

When we get over the idea that we can do everything by ourselves, we become receptive to the moving force that creates and sustains us. As we stop looking at life from our own egotistical point of view, we begin to see God's glory. No longer a slave to our desires for material things, we are able to rejoice in our Higher Power and to share our joy with those around us.

Our recovery makes us examples of God's power to heal and renew.

In You, there is great joy.

Let's walk!


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9/26/17 8:31 A

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

Zip It

Not every thought needs to become a spoken word. Not every feeling needs to become an action. Sometimes I need to just keep quiet. If my words will seem harsh—if they will ridicule, judge, or critique—I won't say them. If they will be unkind, I will be kind and leave them unsaid. If I have an opinion (or advice) that hasn’t been asked for, I will keep it to myself. If it's not an objective fact, I won't present it; if it's not a truth, I won't spread it; if it's not mine to discuss, I won't discuss it. If I don't want to know or don't need to know—and if I cannot or should not do anything about it—then I will not ask about it. If I'm mad, I don't need to yell it; if I'm resentful, I don't need to prove it; if I'm hurting, I don't need to hurt someone back. I need to think before I speak or act. Mostly, I just need to zip it.

A closed mouth gathers no foot.

Anonymous

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9/25/17 8:20 A

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

Today I Will Trust

Today, I will stop straining to know what I don't know.
To see what I can't see.
To understand what I don't yet understand.
I will trust that being is sufficient,
And I will let go of my need to figure things out.

Let's walk!


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9/24/17 8:36 A

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

Sharing our experiences heightens our joy and lessens out pain.

Not letting other people know what's troubling us causes the problem to trouble us even more. "Secrets keep us stuck," say the wise ones on our journey.

Sharing what's on our mind with a friend or sponsor gives that person an opportunity to help us develop a better perspective. On the other hand, staying isolated with our worries exaggerates them.

Staying isolated with our joys isn't helpful either. It minimizes them, thus cheating us out of feeling their full thrill. We deserve joy in our lives – lots of it – because we will have our full measure of pain. Perhaps we fear others will criticize us for being braggarts if we sing forth our joy. But our real friends will sing right along with us. Our joys are deserved; they offset our trials. Telling others about both will let all our experiences count for something.

I will remain open to my friends today, sharing both my worries and my joys.

Let's walk!


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9/23/17 8:32 A

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

No Place to Go

Love is supposed to flit about, here and there. Happily. And lightly. It's also supposed to have a place to land. Love is supposed to reach out and check in: How's the job? How's your life? Wanna do lunch? Go for a walk? Wanna talk? Do you need help with this or that? Happy Birthday! Here's a birthday cake, some presents, birthday wishes, a party hat. Yes, love is supposed to flit about, here and there, doing all these things, and more.

With addiction, love has no place to go. No place to land. My love, as a mother, has become untethered. So, in trying to make things right in my maternal world, I fuss, fix, and fume instead--forcing and faking a two-way relationship. I butt in and argue and wheel and deal and wheedle and enable and un-able and whine and beg. Love is supposed to flit about, here and there. Happily. And lightly. But there's nowhere for my love to go. Or land. And so, I ache.

Grief is just love with no place to go.

Jamie Anderson

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9/22/17 8:42 A

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

Listening and Sharing

Let us review what others have said about listening and sharing:

"To profit from good advice requires more wisdom than to give it."
--Churton Collins

"They that will not be counseled cannot be helped. If you do not hear reason, she will rap you on the knuckles."
--Benjamin Franklin

"Don’t give your advice before you are called upon."
--Erasmus

"If a man’s faith is unstable and his peace of mind troubled, his knowledge will not be perfect."
--Buddhist Proverb

"Let no man presume to give advice to others that he has not first lived successfully himself."
--Anonymous

"People have a way of becoming what you encourage them to be – not what you nag them to be."
--S.N. Parker

"An open mind, like an open window, should be screened to keep the bugs out."
--Virginia Hutchinson

"Philosophy is a purely personal matter. A genuine philosopher's credo is the outcome of a single complex personality; it cannot be transferred. No two persons, if sincere, can have the same philosophy."
--Havelock Ellis

Today I will not expect others to agree with my views. I will share and listen for what is good in others and myself. I will seek honesty and increased understanding from all my communications with others.

Let's walk!


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9/21/17 8:30 A

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

Seeking growth

We are where we are for a reason. As long as that reason remains, we remain where we are. If we aren't where we think we should be, working the program will help us get to where our deepest self longs to be. This is growth.

And growth is work. We must be willing to do the simple things that our new understanding asks of us. We are never given more than we can handle, and the loving help we need along the way is always available. But we never get this help in advance, only as we need it.

Am I seeking growth?

Higher Power, help me want to grow and be willing to do the simple things, day by day, that add up to big changes.

Let's walk!


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9/20/17 8:42 A

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

Un-abling

It is not helping my child if I do things for him that he can (and should) do for himself. Instead, by diminishing expectations, I diminish his capabilities. I am un-abling.

Un-abling means that I am helping to make the son I am "helping" unable to manage his task--or his life--on his own. It is crossing boundaries, reducing responsibilities, removing consequences, and cheating him of things adults need to learn in order to live (and love) life on their own. It's providing an escape hatch from the realities of life.

So, I will not give in, hand out, set up, or fix up my child's messes and catastrophes until I am, inevitably, unable to enable. (Or unwilling. Or burned out.) I will not help to leave my child so un-abled that he is unable to handle the business of running whatever is left of his life--after he's endured a lifetime of my un-abling. (What happens to my child if he never learns how to rescue himself?) All I can (and should) do is help him to get the help he needs to help himself. That, and love him.

If he sneezes, I'm not the one who should leap for a tissue. And I'm not the one who should want to.

Let's walk!


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9/19/17 8:45 A

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

One deceit needs many others, and so the whole house is built in the air and must soon come crashing down.
-- Baltasar Gracian

If we are honest about our addiction, we know how it can drive us into secrecy. At first came the little lie - about missing an appointment or coming home late. Then the lie to cover the lie, and then the lies to try to escape from the web of lies that entangled us within our deceit. We couldn't look our loved one in the eye, we couldn't risk the truth, and so we lied again and again. Finally the sad day came when we grew comfortable in our little isolated world of fantasy and deception.

Our life became a house of cards, a pack of lies. We couldn't make an honest, open move for fear of bringing the whole thing tumbling down around our ears. And usually we were not the only ones to get hurt; our spouses, lovers, children, friends, and colleagues suffered too.

We have begun to change all this, but it takes time. We need to continue to take inventory and be fearless and honest with ourselves. Each time we are honest, the lies lose their power, and finally truth comes through.

I'm tired of the web of lies I've spun around my addiction. I want to break through into honesty and truth.

Let's walk!


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9/18/17 8:40 A

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

Give us to go blithely on our business this day, bring us to our resting beds weary and content and undishonored, and grant us in the end the gift of sleep.
--Robert Louis Stevenson

Tonight, our reward for the day is sleep. To make sleep peaceful and relaxing, and filled with pleasant thoughts, we can spend time gently closing our minds to the day's events.

We can walk down a pleasant, nature-filled path in our minds. With each step we can move farther away from the day's activities and the many tasks we did or left undone. Look around us. We can see lakes and mountains and hear the soothing sounds of a speeding stream. Nothing is important now except peace of mind and the hours ahead in which our minds will be at peace.

Before we shut off the light we can spend a few minutes visualizing our pleasant nature walks. We can think "Let Go and Let God" and feel the day's tensions and pressures fall from our shoulders. Today has been good. We can then close our eyes and let the reward of sleep drift over us.

Let's walk!


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9/17/17 8:36 A

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

Flowers, Not Weeds

When addiction took hold of my son, it grew and spread like a thick, thorny vine, twisting and turning and choking him tight. But it didn't stop there. It kept right on creeping. It crept and crawled its way into my mind, making me sick too. In an Alice in Wonderland kind of way, my sickness is a distorted reflection of his sickness. How sick is that?

I faded, I weakened. I lost my sense of self. Blamed, judged, and berated, I became consumed by the guilt and negative thoughts heaped on me by both myself and others. My common sense and rational thought became warped.

The truth is, negative thoughts and negative people can't take root in my life if I don't let them. My life is like a garden--what grows here is in my control. Unwelcome seeds may drift in on the wind, and renegade runners may sneak in under the fence, but I can pull out the things I don't want in order to make room for the flowers.

Stop watering the weeds in your life and start watering the flowers.

Let's walk!


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9/16/17 9:31 A

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

Inspiration starts in the home.
--Alpha English

What does being inspired really mean? Alpha would say it means having the faith to tackle difficult tasks. She surely had it. In a time when few women went to college, she did and with honors. Then after a lifetime of teaching in a small Arkansas town, she began writing plays and a history of African Americans for the benefit of young and old alike. She was inspired. Her example inspired others, too.

But what if we didn't grow up in a home where inspiration was nurtured? Did that mean we couldn't develop it? Taking notice of how we have solved problems and approached the unknown in our lives indicates the level of inspiration we acquired from somewhere. What's obvious is that we did create it somehow. Any accomplishment we can point to is evidence. Nobody tackles anything without some inner drive that says they can. That's inspiration.

Some of us did have more than others. Some of us still do. The good news is that we can "trade" inspiration with each other. We can give it away when a friend is in need, and we can borrow it back when we're feeling uncertain about a direction or a task. It matters not where we get it. It never did. It was simply easier for us if it was one of the gifts passed on in our homes.

My inspiration can come from anywhere today. Those who are closest are the obvious "carriers."

Let's walk!


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9/15/17 8:40 A

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

The evolution of human growth is an evolution from an absolute need to be loved towards a full readiness to give love.
--Dr. Karl Stern

As children, we looked to our parents for love, for clothes and food, for an indication of who we were. If our needs were met, we felt secure. As developing adults, we still seek love. We continue yearning for security and all too often our self-definition comes through someone else. But a healthy sign of our growth is revealed each time we extend love to another with no thought that love is owed us in return.

We can show our love in myriad ways - a genuine smile, a note of appreciation, an unexpected favor, perhaps flowers, or a phone call. Warmly giving another attention in any form is an act of love, one that will be repaid in full by someone, at some time.

The ease with which we genuinely love others is directly proportional to our commitment to loving as a priority in our lives. To love is a decision first, an action second, a value next.

Let's walk!


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9/14/17 8:41 A

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

History books begin and end, but the events they describe do not.
--R. G. Collingwood

Each day we turn a new page in our recovery, and we grow more settled in our new life. As we learn to live in the present, neither fearing the future not feeling shame about the past, we discover new pleasures in simply living. We don’t have to hide our fear any more, we don’t have to suppress grief or shame or anger. We don’t have to keep our real selves secret behind a veil of chemicals.

But we do need to remember. Our old behavior is still a part of us. We may still be paying the consequences for it, with legal or health problems. We may still feel remorse over our actions. And we need to remember that our addiction did not end simply because we stopped using our drug of choice. We could relapse at any time if we aren’t careful and don’t work our program. We could replace our old addictive behaviors at any time with equally unhealthy new ones that may be harder for us to see. This is why we keep going to meetings. This is why we need our sponsor, our other program friends, and our Higher Power. Recovery is active. When we are working at it, we are recovering.

Today help me see what work I need to do for my recovery.

Let's walk!


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9/13/17 8:26 A

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

I Did Not Cause It

I did not cause my child to become an addict. As a parent, I don't possess that power.

When my children were little, I imagined I had all kinds of power. I could decide when it was time for their nap--but they might play in their cribs instead of sleeping. I could serve up a healthy dinner--but if they didn't want to eat the small mound of lima beans on their plates, They Did Not! I could teach my children right from wrong and good from bad, but my word alone often wasn't enough, and they experimented to see how those rights and wrongs worked. It soon became clear that while I could be their guide, my children were going to be who they were meant to be. My real power as a mother was simply to love them. (And to annoy them and make them mad.) As a parent, I was perceived to be too nosey, too clingy, and, on occasion, not clingy enough. I hurt my children's feelings. I made them feel angry, sad, unheard, and misunderstood. At times I hovered like a helicopter mom--at other moments I might have flown too far away.

I am an imperfect mom. But imperfect parenting does not cause children to become addicts.

If that were so, every child would grow up to be an addict.

Too many people are spoiling their existence carrying needless guilt and shame.

Anonymous

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9/12/17 8:37 A

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

Reflection for the Day

Even with a growing understanding of The Program and its Twelve Steps, we sometimes might find it difficult to believe that our new way of life leads to personal freedom. Suppose, for example, I feel imprisoned in an uncomfortable job or troublesome personal relationship. What am I doing about it? In the past, my reflex reaction was to try to manipulate the things and people around me into being more acceptable to me. Today, I realize that happiness can't be won that way.

Am I learning that freedom from despair and frustration can come only from changing, in myself, the attitudes that are perpetuating the conditions that cause me grief?

Today I Pray

May I be given clear eyes to see and then to stop myself when I am manipulating the lives of those around me, my daily associates, friends, and family. May I always be aware that change must begin within myself.

Today I will remember

Change from the inside out.

Let's walk!


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9/11/17 8:41 A

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

Keeping my mind active through good, intellectual discussions is important to me. Talking over golf scores doesn't take us very far.
--Louise Jerome

Small talk is what engages us much of the time. There's nothing shameful about that. Many of the individuals we're in the company of are strangers to us. Inconsequential discussions seem safer then. Yet, keeping our minds active through thoughtful discussions about the world expands our knowledge and awareness. This exercises our minds in important ways. Just as muscles atrophy when unused, so do minds.

Many people shy away from in-depth discussions. Maybe we frequently do that, too. Oftentimes it's because we feel inadequate to others. Maybe we assume they are better educated. Fears of inadequacy are familiar to most of us. Will we ever learn that we are and always have been all that we've needed to be?

One of the good things about growing older, for some of us at least, is that we realize most worries don't materialize; most situations aren't as serious as we anticipated, and most people are more approachable than they first appear to be. Taking risks to share our thoughts gets easier the more we practice it. Let's not shy away from this today.

I'll dare to share my opinions today. A good discussion can energize me.

Let's walk!


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9/10/17 8:42 A

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

Real love pours itself out upon the object of its affection, without demanding any return.
--Florence Scovel Shinn

Loving another wholly, purely, with no strings attached promises ecstasy, and yet seldom do we dare chance it. Often we want the promise of love in return if we're to offer it. Our fragile egos are held tentatively intact by the slim gestures and fleeting words of love tossed our way. But when we bargain for love, we don't find it.

Real love will forever elude us unless we put our own selves aside and unabashedly love the self of someone else.

Freely spreading the warm glow of love to others magically invites its return - another of life's mysteries.

Let's walk!


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9/9/17 9:15 A

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

Letting Go of the Silence

Addiction's best friends are shame and silence--without them, addiction couldn't survive. They play together so nicely, hanging out deep in the shadows. A tight-knit gang of bullies, they've been left to rule through intimidation for too long. Addiction, shame, and silence--this trio with power.

Many times, out of fear, I've kept addiction's secrets--fear of blame, fear of my failures being exposed, fear of embarrassment and disgrace. But now I see that was stupid; my silence and shame only help The Addict to succeed at killing my son. So, I will no longer be silent. Or ashamed.

The best gift I can give The Addict is to keep quiet--to keep addiction hidden away in the dark. But the best gift I can give my child is to talk about addiction. To bring addiction out into the light, to foster understanding and change. To change the way people look at my son. To change the way they interact with and treat him.

Maybe letting go with love means letting go of the silence.

Stigma's power lies in silence. The silence that persists when discussion and action should be taking place.

M. B. Dallocchio

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9/8/17 8:45 A

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

How important is it?

The young man in the meeting was very angry and upset. His lawnmower had broken down. He was having a cookout in his back yard that evening, the yard "looked terrible," and he'd paid a lot of money for that mower! After he went on for some time, an older woman gently interrupted him and asked, “Was anyone hurt? Was there danger? Would your guests walk out?” And finally, “Did you lose your sobriety over it?” The young man smiled, as he answered “no” to all the questions. “No, it was not that important after all.”

We all overreact sometimes to situations, people, and events that, later, we see were really not important. The next time we are bothered by someone or something that threatens to ruin our day, we will try to remember to ask ourselves. “How important is it?” If it’s not important, we’ll spend our time and energy on what is important. There is a world of difference.

Today help me to know what is important, to forget what’s not, and ask others for perspective when I‘m not sure.

Let's walk!


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9/7/17 12:10 P

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

Reflection for the Day

One of the most constructive things I can do is to learn to listen to myself and get in touch with my true feelings. For years, I tuned myself out, going along, instead, with what others felt and said. Even today, it sometimes seems that they have it all together, while I'm still stumbling about. Thankfully, I'm beginning to understand that people-pleasing takes many forms. Slowly but steadily, I've also begun to realize that it's possible for me to change my old patterns. Will I encourage myself to tune in to the real me? Will I listen carefully to my own inner voice with the expectation that I'll hear some wonderful things?

I pray that I may respect myself enough to listen to my real feelings, those emotions which for so long I refused to hear or name or own, which festered in me like a poison. May I know that I need to stop often, look at my feelings, and listen to the inner me.

I will own my feelings.


Let's walk!


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9/6/17 8:40 A

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

To Love an Addict

When I held my baby in my arms for the very first time, I rubbed my cheek on his fuzzy head and whispered, "I will love and protect you for as long as I live." I didn't know then that my baby would become an addict before becoming an adult, or that the addict taking his place would shred the meaning of those words to smithereens.

Slowly, at first, came the arrests and overdoses and big fat lies. My sweet child was turning into a stranger, manipulating me, using me, and twisting my love into knots. I was befuddled by this scary new world that I didn’t even know I was in and that I knew nothing about. I thought I was just a regular mom stumbling through regular parenthood, but then I had to figure out how to be the mom of an addict. I had to figure out how to love my child without helping to hurt him, how to grieve the loss of my child—who's still alive—without dying, and how to trade shame and blame for strength.

To be the parent of an addict is to be an ambassador of truth and understanding. No more shame. No more silence.

To love an addict is to run out of tears.

Let's walk!


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9/5/17 8:43 A

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

There is no happiness; there are only moments of happiness.
-- Spanish proverb

How happy we are right now may hinge on dinnertime - whether it is just before or just after. It may also depend on whether we are examining ourselves to see if we are happy or not. There's nothing like a little introspection to convince us of the futility of life. Just asking the question, "Am I happy?" is enough to put us into a blue mood.

Moments of happiness, like creative thoughts, pass before us all the time. If we want to enjoy them, it's up to us to reach out and take them when they appear. The opportunities are boundless, and they all come dressed up like other people. No one has ever been happy for long in isolation. We are not, by nature, solitary creatures. God gave us people to be with. And as an incentive to be kind to one another, God made each of us a source of happiness for others.

If there's anybody around, I won't have to look far for happiness today.

Let's walk!


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9/4/17 9:48 A

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

Because I have been athirst I will dig a well that others may drink.
--Arabian proverb

Most of us do as we please. When we want to go we go; when we want to stay, we stay. We're accustomed to moving around freely and never even think about it. We trust that a door will open if we turn the knob and push. Unfortunately, we never appreciate what we take for granted, and we are less for that.

A young man at an meeting shared that he had just been released from prison. Upon release, the first thing he had done, he said, was to walk back and forth across the pressure plate of the bus station door. He wanted to be the one to make a door open and close. Onlookers had laughed at him, he said, but he didn't care. He appreciated the chance to move, to go where he wanted. Having known the hell of doors that won't open, he had an awareness that the rest of us didn't have. As his recovery continues, he will have much to share with people who've been trapped in prisons of their own.

May I have the insight to recognize my own special qualifications, and the willingness to share them with others.

Let's walk!


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9/3/17 8:31 A

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

Happiness is a by product of an effort to make someone else happy.
--Gretta Brooker Palmer

Self-centeredness aggravates the natural flow of circumstances surrounding us; too much attention on ourselves distorts whatever might be troubling us. However, focusing on others' needs diminishes what we'd perceived as our own pressing need. This is a simple principle we might all consider adopting.

None of us is free of problems. That's one of life's givens. Through their resolution we grow and ready ourselves for the next group of challenges. Each group we survive enables us to offer better assistance to someone else who will confront a similar problem. Perhaps we'd do well to see all our problems as preparation for guiding someone who will come into our life. Helping someone else is certain to lift spirits and foster happiness, but the unexpected reward is that the helper reaps even greater benefits than the one helped.

My happiness is guaranteed if I help someone else find it today.

Let's walk!


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9/2/17 9:11 A

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

Gratitude

Sometimes in life, things happen too fast. We barely solve one problem when two new problems surface. We're feeling great in the morning, but we're submerged in misery by nightfall.

Every day we face interruptions, delays, changes, and challenges. We face personality conflicts and disappointments. Often when we're feeling overwhelmed, we can't see the lessons in these experiences.

One simple concept can get us through the most stressful of times. It's called gratitude. We learn to say thank you for these problems and feelings. Thank you for the way things are. I don't like this experience, but thank you anyway.

Force gratitude until it becomes habitual. Gratitude helps us stop trying to control outcomes. It is the key that unlocks positive energy in our life. It is the alchemy that turns problems into blessings, and the unexpected into gifts.

Today, I will be grateful. I will start the process of turning today's pain into tomorrow's joy.

Let's walk!


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9/1/17 2:49 P

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

The body repeats the landscape. They are the source of each other and create each other.
--Meridel Le Sueur

The beautiful correspondences that structure the world - from the five pointed star in the core of the apple to the snail shell spiral of our inner ear - can be a source of great comfort to us. When we feel most alone, most abandoned and out of sorts, the simple forms of beauty can remind our eyes of the world's unity and our place within it.

Our path through the world is a part of it. We add our individual voices to the chord that is language, that is history. No matter how desperate we may feel, or how hopeless our lives may seem at times, the fact remains that loss and sorrow are a part of life, and the law of life is change. Unless we choose to cling to sorrow, it will flow through us. The next wave of feeling may bring us joy.

The hexagonal cells of the honeycomb recall the shapes of insects' eyes, snowflakes, geodesic domes. We fit into this grand design. We're here for a reason - for many reasons. Let us treat ourselves as gently as we try to treat the other parts of the delicate web of life.

I stand in a reciprocal relationship with the world, part of it as it is part of me.

Let's walk!


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8/31/17 8:40 A

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

Miracles are instantaneous. They cannot be summoned, but come of themselves, usually at unlikely moments to those who least expect them.
-- Katherine Anne Porter

Nobody can force us to be in recovery or twist our arm to make us work our program. There might have been times when we wanted someone to, especially in the beginning, but those times pass. The longer we live in recovery, the more committed we become. We can be grateful that we've stayed with it One Day at a Time. Through times of joy and sadness, through slips, tears, struggling with difficult problems and during moments of peaceful fellowship with new friends, we can truly say that recovery is never boring.

Many of us came to the program because we had no place else to go. Through the mystery of our choices and God's grace, time goes by and we change. It is then we realize that the promises of recovery are coming true. As the Big Book states, the promises of recovery are being "fulfilled among us -- sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them."

My gratitude and joy for the miracle of recovery are boundless.

Let's walk!


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8/30/17 8:45 A

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

Courage and Patience

There are times when the "poor me" mood strikes us all. We complain that things are not better. We bemoan our sorry lot in life. We condemn ourselves and others for not meeting our expectations.

What can we do when these destructive emotions engulf us? First, we can realize that our "self-pity" is often the result of comparing ourselves with others or to some unrealistic standard of perfection that we think we "should" have reached and have not.

What we need to do at times like these is take a fresh look at ourselves and our circumstances. We must evaluate ourselves in relation to ourselves, and avoid comparisons with others.

When we view our progress honestly and clearly, in comparison to our own past performances and our own present conditions, we get a better perspective on the strides we have made. Seeing our growth, we can patiently bear our current frustrations because we have overcome our previous struggles and disillusionments.

Today I am in competition with no one. I shall seek to better myself by growing beyond where I am. I will be patient with myself and take small steps. I will not expect perfection overnight.

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8/29/17 11:07 A

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

WILL POWER = Our WILL-ingness to use a Higher POWER.
--Anonymous

One of the greatest decisions any of us ever made concerned our Third Step. This decision seemed to go against everything we wanted to do. We all know so well that every time we tried to manage our own lives, we produced misery and heartache. Human beings seem created to fight the decision to give up control. Yet this decision in Step Three, very hard for us to make, was one of the greatest decisions we ever made.

When we did our Third Step, we merely embraced the truth. When we decided to let God be God, we were able to participate in the plan. Whenever we let go and let God, we become a player on a team that will always win.

What I knew in the past was mostly failure; the decision to let God's will become mine continues to make sense.

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8/28/17 8:42 A

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

I wonder why love is so often equated with joy when it is everything else as well: devastation, balm, obsession, granting and receiving excessive value, and losing it again.
--Florida Scott Maxwell

In our quiet moments we dream of the gifts that accompany being loved and imagine ourselves as always filled with laughter, a glowing warmth, a serene perspective. But how short sighted our vision. Love promises us growth as well, and growth may mean a loved one's choice to depart for a time, or a struggle for agreement about future directions. Tears and fears are commonplace when we enter the realm of love.

Let's not forget that all experiences, even the dreaded ones, are meant for our good. We are never given more than we can handle, and we will be given a balanced set of circumstances. A measure of joy will follow a period of sadness. As experience has shown, quick on the heels of the fear of loss is the realization that in the spiritual realm we're secure and all is well.

How grateful we might become that love offers us so much to grow on.

Let's walk!


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8/27/17 10:06 A

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

Reflection for the Day

Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the rewards that would be mine when I first contemplated turning my life and will over to the care of God, as I understand God. Now I can rejoice in the blessing of my own recovery, as well as the recoveries of countless others who have found hope and a new way of life in the Program. After all the years of waste and terror, I realize today that God has always been on my side and at my side. Isn't my clearer understanding of God's will one of the best things that has happened to me?

Today I Pray

May I be thankful for the blessed contrast between the way my life used to be (Part I) and the way it is now (Part II). In Part I, I was the practicing addict, adrift among my fears and delusions. In Part II, I am the recovering addict, rediscovering my emotions, accepting my responsibilities, and learning what the real world has to offer. Without the contrast, I could never feel the joy I know today or sense the peaceful nearness of my Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember

I am grateful for such contrast.

Let's walk!


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8/26/17 12:36 P

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

I have to laugh at the times I’ve knocked myself out over a tough spot only to find out afterwards there was an easier way through.
--Robert Franklin Leslie

We receive messages throughout the day that tell us ways of doing things. The door to the store says, “Pull.” The red light tells us not to drive through the intersection. The cereal box says, “Lift tab and open.” Our car's gas gauge tells us “empty.” With these messages, we are given the guidance on which to base our decisions.

We can choose not to pull the door. Then we’ll spend a lot of time and energy pushing until we finally read the sign. All that effort expended, just because we couldn’t stop to get some guidance!

The Twelve Steps offer guidance for an easier way through life. We don’t have to knock ourselves out over these Steps; all we have to do is follow the direction they give us.

How can I use the Steps to make my life easier?

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8/25/17 9:11 A

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

Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the act.
--William James

Step Two speaks of believing. For many years, we had given up believing in ourselves, in a Higher Power, and in others. Now our program tells us to believe in love. We are lovable, and we can love others without hurting them.

Of course, believing is an important part of recovery. To believe means to put aside our doubts. To believe means to have hope. Believing makes the road a little smoother. So, believing lets the healing happen a little faster.

All of this is how we get ready to let in the care of our Higher Power.

Prayer for the Day

I pray for the courage to believe. I'll not let doubt into my heart. I can recover. I can give myself totally to this simple program.

Action for the Day

I'll list four times doubt got in my way. And I'll think of what I can do to not let that happen again.

Let's walk!


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8/24/17 8:47 A

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

Reflection for the Day

In a very real sense, we are imprisoned by our inability or unwillingness to reach out for help to a Power greater than ourselves. But in time, we pray to be relieved of the bondage of self, so that we can better do God's will. In the words of Ramakrishna, "The sun and moon are not mirrored in cloudy waters, thus the Almighty cannot be mirrored in a heart that is obsessed by the idea of 'me and mine.'" Have I set myself free from the prison of self-will and pride which I myself have built? Have I accepted freedom?

Today I Pray

May the word freedom take on new meanings for me, not just "freedom from" my addiction, but "freedom to" overcome it. Not just freedom from the slavery of self-will, but freedom to hear and carry out the will of God.

Today I Will Remember

Freedom from means freedom to.



Let's walk!


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8/23/17 8:43 A

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

You had better live your best and act your best and think your best today, for today is the sure preparation for tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that follow.
--Harriet Martineau

The word "sanity" is derived from the Latin word sanitas, which means "health." In our group, we think of health as wholeness of mind, body, and spirit.

One way to achieve health and wholeness is by living one day at a time. To do this successfully, we need to realize we cannot undo a single act we performed or unsay any harsh words spoken in the past. No matter how much we may regret or re-feel yesterday's painful experiences, there is nothing we can do to change what happened. The past is forever beyond our control.

The same thing is true of the future. No matter how much we may worry and fret over it, very few of us can predict what tomorrow will bring. We can only prepare for a hope-filled future by living fully and confidently today.

TODAY is all I have. Let me make the most of it.



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8/22/17 8:46 A

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

. . . (the king) can deprive them of the benefit of sun and rain, . . . and they are at the same time pelted from above with great stones, . . . while the roofs of their houses are beaten to pieces.
--Jonathan Swift

How do we punish those momentarily gone wrong? Do we try hurting with words - jab them in the heart with some spear-shaped phrases, slap them in the face with an insult or two? Maybe we like to poison them with a strong dose of silence. Have we tried to make them feel bad by making them feel sorry for us? Do we remind them daily that what went wrong with our lives is really all their fault?

We must remember that we are the rulers of our own lives only, and this knowledge gives us the power to punish only ourselves. It also gives us control over our lives, so that others' actions need not wrong us, and we need not punish.

Have I been punishing someone?

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8/21/17 8:44 A

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

Love, and love alone, is capable of giving thee a happier life.
--Ludwig van Beethoven

We are making a response to life's every waking moment; our attitudes formulate the tenor of our responses. When the sun warms our bodies and the flowers tease our nostrils, it may be easy to love everyone and smile. When we have a negative attitude, we may snarl and all too quickly criticize innocent bystanders, as well as friends and family. All we need is to make a simple decision to look with love as far as our eyes can see.

When our hearts are God-centered and filled with love and laughter, we'll find no experience too difficult to handle. No problem will evade its solution for long.

An attitude of love promises us gratitude in abundance. We'll never doubt that all is well when love is at our center.

Let's walk!


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8/20/17 6:33 P

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

Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.
-- Thomas Carlyle

"Five years down the road," says Jack, "I want to have a new job, an intimate relationship, and a bigger house. I want to be earning more money and feel better about myself." What nice dreams! But what is Jack doing for himself now?

"My relationship is not going well," sighs Sarah. "This isn't the first time I've been told I have the same character defects. Someday I really want to make changes and be in a warm, supportive relationship. Then I'll be happy." But how can Sarah expect to have a wonderful relationship if she doesn't begin her work now?

"My family is so messed up," declares Leslie, a parent. "No one communicates. If we had a bigger house we wouldn't argue so much or be so disorganized. When Bill and I start making good money, we can look for that dream house." But when will Bill and Leslie work on the family problems they're having now?

I can begin to see what lies clearly at hand - not a dream or goal years away from now. All I have is right now. Tonight I can build my future foundations by working on me.

Let's walk!


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8/19/17 9:11 A

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

All We Have Is Now

We can only live now, this moment. We cannot erase the mistakes we made yesterday or bring back the good times we had. We cannot know what tomorrow will require of us, nor can we ensure future security and happiness. Now is what we have, and now is everything.

We can follow our plan now. We can abstain this moment. We can deal with the problems, which confront us today, as best we can, trusting God to guide us. We can be in touch with our Higher Power only in the present.

As we focus on the present moment, we live it deeper, and we derive a satisfaction that we did not know when we were regretting the past and worrying about the future. Whatever happens, now is all I can manage and all I need.

I am grateful for this present moment.

Let's walk!


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