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3/30/17 8:45 A

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

It's good for your heart.

"I know I've got some emotions up, just brewing right beneath the surface," Jake said one day. "I'm edgy, irritable, and definitely not centered. But I don't want to look. I don't want to go into the emotions. I don't like feelings. Whenever I give into them, I end up feeling like a piece of cooked spaghetti for days."

Emotions can take a lot out of us. Feeling them, whether it's anger, fear, or sadness, can leave us exhausted and drained.

Not feeling our emotions, however, can keep us edgy, irritable, and off-balance. Not feeling our feelings for an extended time can drive us to acting out, whether that means overeating, obsessing, staying in bed and hiding from the world, or staring at the television every night until we pass out.

Be gentle with yourself. Don't force it. But don't run away from your feelings, either. You might feel like cooked spaghetti for a while, but what's really softening up is your heart.

God, help me face and feel any feelings.

Let's walk!


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3/29/17 8:22 A

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

I just pictured in my mind what I wanted to do. You can use that same formula in accomplishing anything in life.
--Ida Bellegarde

The imagination is a powerful tool. With practice we can perfect our use of it and the results will astound us. Research has shown that athletes who visualize a practice session on the field or mountain or course hone their skills as effectively as those who practice "in the flesh." This may be hard to believe, but it's nonetheless true.

If this formula has worked for others, it can work for you too. But how do you begin? First, consider what you would like to do. The next step is to sit quietly, close your eyes and imagine, in detail, the activity you want to pursue. Stay quiet with this image until it feels natural. Take special note of the sensations you feel throughout your body, the colors you see around you, your inner voice's message. Absorb the experience fully before coming back to reality.

Repeated "journeys" with your mind will make any activity feel familiar, and enough familiarity makes success possible.

I am not prevented from doing anything I really want to do. Using my imagination to experience it the first time will get me started.

Let's walk!


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3/28/17 12:27 P

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3/28/17 8:39 A

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

He who is swift to believe is swift to forget.
-- Abraham Joshua Herschel

Life is full of questions. Many people tell us they have the answers. We have to be careful of who and what we believe. Other people's ideas may not fit us.

The program doesn't tell us much about what to believe. It teaches us how to believe. How well the program works for us depends on what we believe and how well we live it.

When we face all the facts, we can really believe. We believe we are powerless over our addiction. We believe we must and can change some things in our lives. We believe we can trust a Higher Power to care for us. When we choose to believe, we want to choose the best beliefs we can. And once we believe, we must not forget.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, help me know You, and help me know the truth.

Today's Action

Today I'll think about my First Step. Do I truly believe I'm powerless over my disease?

Let's walk!


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3/28/17 3:36 A

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3/27/17 8:34 A

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Today's thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Gratitude is a way of life.

Saying thank you from the heart makes us feel full. Perhaps we don't really know we have something until we express our thanks for it.

There are different levels of gratitude. There is the polite, automatic response when someone opens a door for us or the bank teller tells us to have a nice day. Simple, almost perfunctory, these acts of courtesy nevertheless add an element of grace to our daily transactions.

On a more personal level, saying thank you often and sincerely to those we love keeps us from taking each other for granted. We all like to feel appreciated - how many relationships dry up because the people involved don't realize what they have?

Then there is the gratitude we feel toward the God of our understanding, the source of all the blessings we enjoy but do not create for ourselves. This thankfulness can be a part of every breath we take. As often as we remember the many gifts of every day, our emptiness is filled.

Today, I will replenish my supply of gratitude.

Let's walk!


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3/26/17 8:47 A

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

The more I learn of others' problems, the more my own problems automatically dissolve.
--Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche

Newcomer

The second part of Step Eight says, "became willing to make amends to them all." I have to admit that this is a lot harder for me than simply recognizing that I've caused harm. I don't know if I'm ready to talk to certain people.

Sponsor

The willingness to make amends to everyone we've harmed, even those who may have harmed us, is something that we don't have to force or strive for. We become willing as part of yet another gradual process in recovery. We have begun to recognize that everything is interrelated, that whatever we've done to others, we've also done in some measure to ourselves. This is true not only of any harm that we've done, but also of the compassion that we've begun to feel. As we come to understand the impact of addiction on our lives, as we release our secrets and are met with gentleness and understanding, as we participate in the healing laughter at meetings, we replace old feelings of shame with compassion. Our new capacity to feel compassion for ourselves restores and revitalizes our understanding and care for others.

We become willing to make amends when we realize that in doing so, we are healing ourselves.

Today, I cultivate openness and compassion toward others.

Let's walk!


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3/25/17 9:47 A

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

If you go around thinking you are being cheated,
life becomes very unpleasant.
--Felix Salten

Sometimes we feel cheated that we have been given this darn disease to cope with. Why us? Why can't we just be like normal people? Why did we have to get into so much trouble and pain as a result of a disease that hit us and skipped over other people?

Another way to look at it is: Hey, I'm really lucky. I have a killer disease, and I'm beating the odds. I'm getting healthier every day. I got my life back.

Another way to look at it is: At least this is a disease I can recover from.

The Big Book Promises (on pages 83 and 84) say that any feeling of self-pity will disappear by the time we are working Step Nine. We may even be grateful for the path that led us to recovery. Do we believe it? There's one way to find out: We need to try it.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, help me to remember that there are a lot worse things in life than being in recovery.

Today's Action

What are five good things that I have gotten from recovery? Ten? I will write these down and refer to them when I'm tempted to feel sorry for myself.



Let's walk!


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3/25/17 3:23 A

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3/24/17 8:44 A

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

Only those means of security are good, are certain, are lasting that depend on yourself and your own vigor.
--Machiavelli

What is our security based upon? This is a vital, bottom-line question.

Security is a basic need of all humans. But as with all quests, if we look for the object of our search in an area where it cannot be found, we court certain frustration and failure.

Many would base their security on outside conditions. That is building our house on sand. Beauty passes, fame is fleeting, wealth can quickly evaporate, and health is fragile at best. What then is safe to count upon?

Only one security cannot be taken away, and it resides within. Security based on our own belief in ourselves, in our ability not only to cope and survive, but to celebrate life is the only security that lasts. As hard as it may be for adult children to learn they can trust themselves, it still is the only lasting security.

My security rests on the gains I've made in the program I've never had a stronger sense of self.

Let's walk!


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3/24/17 8:43 A

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

There are many ways of breaking a heart. Stories were full of hearts broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream - whatever that dream might be.
--Pearl S. Buck

No new door is opened without the inner urge for growth. Dreams guide us, encourage us, stretch us to new heights - and leave us momentarily empty when they are dashed.

Recovery has given us resilience and a multitude of reasons for living. We have come to understand that when one dream serves us no longer, it is making way for an even better one. Our dreams are our teachers. When the student is ready, a new one comes into focus.

Dreams in our earlier years often came to naught. They couldn't compete for our attention as effectively as the self-pity. The direction they offered was lost. Each day that we look forward with positive anticipation, we put the wreckage of the past farther from our minds.

Our dreams are like the rest areas on a cross-country trip. They refresh us, help us to gauge the distance we've come, and give us a chance to consider our destination.

Today's dreams and experiences are points on the road map of my life. I won't let them pass unnoticed.

Let's walk!


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3/22/17 5:30 P

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3/22/17 8:45 A

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

Sharing our sobriety

We cannot give away something we don't have. And since the people closest to us forced us to see our inadequacies, our inability to love, most of us resented them. Although aware of the problem, we hated having it shown to us regularly. We were empty and scared. And there was no hope in sight, so we blamed our problems on those around us.

But by coming into the program things change: First we get hope; then we get strength and experience to share with other alcoholics and nonalcoholics. We learn that in order to keep what we've been given so freely, we must give it away.

Do I share my sobriety with others?

Higher Power, help me be ever aware of the source of all the good things I've been given, and show me each day how to share them with others.



Let's walk!


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3/21/17 8:43 A

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

Everything's got a moral, if only you can find it.
--Lewis Carroll

We must make many choices in our recovery. Some of these will strengthen our character, for they will be hard to make and sometimes even harder to accept. One of the most meaningful sayings in our program is Let go and let God. We understand its true meaning when we are faced with adversity and we feel needlessly hurt.

If we are to let go of a problem, we must feel in our hearts that no matter what the outcome, our Higher Power has a special purpose for us. We may not be able to see that purpose now, but if we let our Higher Power guide us, we will be guided down the right path. If we do our best to detach from our pain and try to see a more peaceful future, we will feel secure in God's hands. Given this security, we'll be free to direct our energy toward positive, healthy choices that will bring us more of the happiness we deserve.

Today help me let go and let God, even when it hurts.

Let's walk!


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3/20/17 1:01 P

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3/20/17 8:33 A

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

When one door closes, fortune will usually open another.
-- Fernando De Rojas

Sometimes, especially in early recovery, we concentrate on our losses instead of our gains. We see a chapter in our life closing, and we mourn. We must leave some friends behind, or say good-bye to a social life we enjoyed. We must give up active addiction, which had become our best friend and only comfort. We may even have to leave our families, at least for a time, in order to concentrate on our own needs.

We need to grieve all these losses. Then we can see more clearly what recovery has brought us. For every loss, we've gained blessings. For every friend gone, we have the chance to make many more. A whole new sober life awaits us when we're ready to be part of it.

When we gave up the fake comforts of addiction, we found genuine comfort in sound sleep and healthy bodies, in peaceful days and serene nights. When we were ready to give up anger and resentment, we found generosity and forgiveness toward other people, and toward ourselves, too. In recovery, it's true, one door has closed. But another, better door has finally opened.

Today help me be grateful for my new life. Help me grieve my losses so I can appreciate all that awaits me.

Let's walk!


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3/19/17 9:52 A

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

Celebrate your life and hear your spirit sing.
-- Elisabeth L.

"What's to celebrate?" some people ask. We all get our fill of the cynics. Their negativity can weigh down our spirits. But we don't have to let them control how we see our lives or theirs. To keep our own perceptions positive, it helps to detach from the naysayers. We will improve our chances if we consciously focus on gratitude for even the tiny blessings rather than on whatever might be wrong.

Becoming grateful is the strongest, safest means of feeling good now that we are abstinent. Not only does it readily alter our mood, but it changes our perspective on every detail of our lives. To be thankful rather than "thankless" is a small price to pay for unqualified happiness coupled with serenity.

We've all known people who radiate a singing spirit. They love life, themselves, and others. We seek out their company. We can be like those people for the travelers sharing our journey. Let's do it!

I will practice gratitude today and be a blessing in everyone's life.

Let's walk!


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3/19/17 9:52 A

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3/19/17 7:30 A

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3/18/17 5:55 P

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

Complacency breeds old behavior and unnecessary problems.

"The Promises," as suggested in the Big Book, clearly indicate that we have work to do if we want the rewards that are guaranteed in this program of recovery. Getting complacent, not using the tools that the program has taught us, opens the door to backsliding. Before long we are caught in the old game of manipulation: tension fills our lives again.

There are simple antidotes to complacency. Gratitude is one of them. Every morning we can take a few movements to appreciate all the goodness in our lives. Another powerful antidote is taking the time to consciously contact our Higher Power. God is always available to help us: we simply have to open the door. Sharing hope with others is perhaps the most powerful of the antidotes because it helps at least two people – ourselves and the listener who hears our story.

The Twelve Step program has made each of us a messenger for God. When we isolate, forgetting our role in this picture that's unfolding, the old attitudes and behaviors return. We are told to be "painstaking" about our efforts. The benefits will match them.

I will be present to the others in my life today and will acknowledge God in all that I do. My conscientiousness won't allow me to be complacent.

Let's walk!


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3/17/17 11:41 P

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

Reflection for the Day

"Vision is, I think, the ability to make good estimates," wrote Bill W., the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. "Some might feel this sort of striving to be heresy against 'One Day At A Time.' But that valuable principle really refers to our mental and emotional lives, and means chiefly that we are not foolishly to repine over the past nor wishfully daydream about the future." Can I believe that "A day has a hundred pockets when one has much to put in them... "?

Today I Pray

I pray that the bright colors of this day may not be blurred by muted vagaries of the future or dulled by storm-gray remnants from the past. I pray that my Higher Power will help me to choose my actions and concerns out of the wealth of busyness that each day offers.

Today I Will Remember

I will not lose for today, if I choose for today.

Let's walk!


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3/16/17 8:37 A

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

Connection is not just about making time for family and friends. It's about a sense of caring for other people. It's about connecting with the human spirit even when there is no national crisis. The other day I was walking down the street when a woman ahead of me tripped and fell on the sidewalk. Two people walked by her as if she weren't there. Others just stared without offering help; I stopped to help, as did another person. We both waited for an ambulance to arrive and then we left. I couldn't believe what I had just witnessed: a human being was in need of assistance and most people walked on by.

If we give lip service to love, how can we not be kind to the individuals we meet along our journey, regardless of their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation? What happened to the connection?

This week is about making the connection. It's about making the time to connect with others.

Let's walk!


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3/15/17 8:44 A

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

I was 35 years old the first time I spoke up to my mother and refused to buy into her games and manipulation. . .I didn't have to start an argument. But I could say what I wanted and needed to say to take care of myself. I learned I could love and honor myself, and still care about my mother - the way I wanted to - the way she wanted me to.
--Anonymous

Who knows better how to push our buttons than family members? Who, besides family members, do we give such power? No matter how long we or our family members have been recovering, relationships with family members can be provocative. One telephone conversation can put us in an emotional and psychological tailspin that lasts for hours or days.

The process of detaching in love from family members can take years. So can the process of learning how to react in a more effective way. We cannot control what they do or try to do, but we can gain some sense of control over how we choose to react.

Stop trying to make them act or treat us any differently. Unhook from their system by refusing to try to change or influence them. Their patterns, particularly their patterns with us, are their issues. How we react, or allow these patterns to influence us, is our issue. How we take care of ourselves is our issue.

We can take care of ourselves with family members without feeling guilty. We can learn to be assertive with family members without being aggressive. We can set the boundaries we need and want to set with family members without being disloyal to the family.

We can learn to love our family without forfeiting love and respect for ourselves.

Today, help me start practicing self-care with family members. Help me know that I do not have to allow their issues to control my life, my day, or my feelings. Help me know its okay to have all my feelings about family members, without guilt or shame.



Let's walk!


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3/14/17 8:45 A

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

Communicating

…when I finally gave up on my partner.

He believed that the love of his life, if he ever found the Right One, would fill all the gaps of his own personality. She dreamed that her perfect match would always respond gently, never willfully. After the honeymoon phase they naturally began to find imperfections and disappointments. Both wondered if they had chosen the Wrong One. But in a sense, there is no Right One for anyone. In another sense, there may be millions of Right Ones.

The closeness of a partnership will always reveal weaknesses and disappointments that were not obvious at first. No partner will match all the inventions of our own mind or so completely fit our needs that we have no remaining emptiness inside. One person said, “It felt like a terrible day when I finally gave up on my partner. But it became the first day of reality for me. Only after that did I discard the images I had invented for her and begin to get acquainted with who she really was.”

For today, put all your ideas and desires for who your mate should become on the shelf and go only with who your mate is.

Let's walk!


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3/13/17 8:42 A

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

The past has flown away. The coming month and year do not exist; ours only is the present's tiny point.
--Shabistari

We are tempted to look back and to look ahead. But what we most need to do is be present in this moment, with ourselves, with our loved ones and friends, and with our experience right here and right now. When we were lost and asleep in our using days and codependency, we could not be emotionally present. Our thoughts were taken up with how we would get our next drink, our next big gambling win, or with how to handle the latest crisis. To be emotionally present and live in the moment; this takes time, and it's a frame of mind that develops as we grow in recovery.

One way we become more present in the moment is to practice gratitude. We can always name a few things we feel grateful for - small and big things, funny and serious things. Looking through the lens of gratitude brings us into the immediate moment.

Today I will look at my day through the lens of gratitude.

Let's walk!


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3/12/17 8:43 A

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

Many of us, in trying to run away from our essential aloneness, have abused alcohol, work, drugs, food, money, and entertainment. In spite of our frantic activity, we have continued to feel "alone in a crowd," "alone in our dreams," and "lonely in our marriages."

These experiences should prove we cannot successfully avoid coming to terms with our aloneness. The sooner we accept responsibility for our lives, the sooner we will stop inflicting unnecessary pain on ourselves.

In accepting our aloneness, we accept that no one can protect us from ourselves - and that no one can live our lives for us. "Aloneness" simply means that we cannot depend on others for our joy or sorrow. We are the authors of our actions, attitudes, and experiences and not the "victims" of fate or circumstance.

Today I will not be afraid of my aloneness. I will accept total responsibility for my attitudes, actions, or neglects. I will not seek unnecessary pain by relying on what others say or do to make me happy.

Let's walk!


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3/11/17 9:11 A

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Today's thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

All of my life I've been like a doubled up fist... poundin', smashin', drivin' - now I'm going to loosen these doubled up hands and touch things easy with them.
--Tennessee Williams

Everyone has many sides. Some sides are highly developed and other sides aren't at all. We need not fear turning to a new side and exploring it. This recovery program has enabled us to pursue sides of ourselves that were closed before. When we were lost in our narrow world of codependency and addiction, we had fewer options. Now we have far greater access to our strength and our self-esteem, and we find new parts of ourselves.

Many of us have found relationships, which were never possible before, job choices we would never have had, and the pleasure of greater involvement in life. It is reassuring to see that we don't always have to give up one side of ourselves to add new ones.

Thanks to God for the many options opening up to me in this renewed life.

Let's walk!


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3/10/17 8:31 A

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

Asking how

Many days we are tempted to ask Why? Why did this happen to me? Why was I singled out? Why am I not a different person? But the whys lead only to clever explanations and rationalizations of what we do or what we are. The question for us is not Why? but How?

We ask how to learn and work our program of recovery; the "how" can give us a deeper understanding of the program. We ask God How? and God provides the strength and guidance needed. "How" will lead to everything needed for recovery and personal growth. "Why" is irrelevant.

Am I learning how to live?

Higher Power, teach me how to live, love, and learn.

Let's walk!


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3/9/17 8:37 A

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

. . . we first took to ourselves.

We may do something that we do not want our partner to know; perhaps something that puts us in a bad light. If we lie about it, what do we gain? Our secret may be safe, but we have put another brick in the wall that prevents us from having an open intimate relationship. Our white lie does not protect our relationship, it damages it. By chipping away at our self-respect, we also damage our relationship to ourselves. Before long we become suspicious of others, believing that they also are not as they say, or that they are manipulating us.

By this process we project the infection in our soul onto our partner. If we believe he or she is manipulating us, perhaps we need to face our own manipulation. Our partner may have defects, but to help our relationship grow, we first look to the only one we can change, and that is ourselves.

Think about your honesty with your partner. Can you improve your relationship by clearing up a misleading message you have given?

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3/9/17 8:37 A

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great to see you!

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3/9/17 3:55 A

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3/8/17 10:47 A

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

Hope smiles on the threshold of the year to come, whispering that it will be happier.
--Alfred, Lord Tennyson

At the start of this new year, we look back at what has been and we look forward to the future. Our path has been filled with healing and hope. Rewards have come to us each day. Now, looking toward the year ahead, we can't know much of what will happen, but we can recommit ourselves to our healing and sober path. We can have renewed comfort and optimism that we will not be alone and that we will be able to handle whatever comes our way.

The start of a new year is a good time to make lists of the things we fear, the things we hope for, and the things we are grateful for. These lists serve as a kind of snapshot inventory of our attitude toward the world and our relationship with our Higher Power. They point a direction for us today and for the year ahead. We can put these lists in a safe place until next year when we will bring them out as a reminder of where we were and a measure of how far we've come.

Today I once again turn my life and will over to the care of God.

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3/7/17 10:56 A

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

Colors

Imagine a world in black and white, maybe gray. Boring, isn't it? But some of us want our emotional lives to be like that.

A friend told me about a song he played in the car while driving with co-workers. It was a song about the richness of life, the high points (marriage, the birth of children) and the low points (death and loss) and how good it all was.

"One of the guys in the car wondered how you could possibly consider loss good," my friend said. "I tried to explain, but I'm not sure he got it."

I understood. All our experiences are rich colors that make a full life.

Have you ever cried so hard that you thought you would never stop? Have you ever laughed so hard you cried? Have you ever known someone you didn't want to live without a friend, lover, or relative? Have you ever been so forlorn you thought you'd never be happy again? And just when you were about to lose hope, or right after you did, your Higher Power came through? Have you ever felt so angry while driving that when a streetlight went out, you thought your anger did it? Have you ever felt so angry you wanted to break something, stomp, or spit? Have you ever wanted something so badly - like sobriety - and been so afraid you couldn't have it, you were willing to go to any lengths to achieve success?

It's important to feel all our emotions - jealousy, desire, anger, love, despair, and the taboo feelings. I know, feelings can be a pain in the neck. Feelings can make us feel ill. If we don't feel them, they don't go away. And it can take awhile to figure out what to do with them after we notice they're there.

Red with anger. Green with envy. Blue with sadness. The pink cloud of recovery. Go ahead. Pick a color.

Please don't settle for only black and white. Value vibrant, colorful emotional health.

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3/6/17 8:46 A

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

How are you doing?
How am I doing?

Just as the ivy that grows on a windowsill requires water and light, our friendships need care and nourishment. We might wish that a good friend would be there whenever we wanted. But we get so busy scrambling to cover all the bases in our lives that we lose touch with friends, even with our partner. We neglect even to ask, "How are you doing?" "How am I doing?"

In spite of our busyness, the time we take for a brief telephone call can make us feel more relaxed and less busy. These seemingly small attentions are important to friendships and instill the spirit of human warmth and care into our lives. It reminds us again of what gives us meaning and opens us up to the affectionate feelings in our partnership.

Call a friend you have not seen for a while just to renew your connection.

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3/5/17 8:54 A

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

We merely need to follow our conscience.

Where are we going? What's the plan for our life? Most of us didn't intend to end up as we have, but here we are! And a significant number of us might not be alive if it weren't for this program. We may have thought we knew where we were headed in our youth, but few of us got there. What we are learning now is that we have an assigned journey and that a Higher Power is in charge. This means we can relax. We don't have to figure anything out. We need only follow our conscience.

Following our conscience means never intentionally hurting another person. It means following through on the responsibilities that are clearly ours. It means honoring God by being grateful for our many blessings. It means feeling joy for the gift of life we've been given. It means trusting that our journey is special and necessary to the other travelers on our path.

I will remember to appreciate the nudging from my conscience today.

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3/4/17 11:11 P

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

Being on the tightrope is living; everything else is waiting.
--Karl Wallenda

In walking a tightrope, a person has to learn to relax while going forward in a situation filled with risk. If he is tense and keeps his body rigid, he will lose his balance and fall. But if he stays relaxed and keeps his muscles loose while remaining very focused, he can continuously respond and readjust his balance while walking. Then he will experience the exhilaration of success. This is a perfect metaphor for life itself, for growing in an intimate relationship and for growing in recovery.

Life itself is a risk. When we hold on too tight, remain too guarded, and anxiously try to control every factor, we become stiff and reactive rather than calm, focused, and responsive. The guidance of this path teaches us to let go of our anxieties and leads us to peace of mind. When we learn to do that, we can deftly walk our path and more effectively maintain our balance in dealing with whatever comes up.

Today I will calm myself while walking on my path.

Let's walk!


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3/4/17 11:11 P

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It sounds like you've been through a lot, Chris. Wishing you all the best now.

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3/4/17 1:06 P

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We moved last October. The years before that were full of decisions for me. I committed to one place but eventually made a different choice. It has worked out very well for DH and me. I am now near my whole family after being away 44 years. Caregiving has made me need family quite a bit.

chris

The move is DONE. A big goal met! But selling the "old" condo has been a rough ride. I am dealing with problems and have to be diligent about caring for myself. Hoping not eating gluten/sugar will help my mood, pain, energy level.
GOAL: Reduce A1C,BP,tryglicerides,and weight. HOW? Low carb plan with lots of veggies and water aerobics at least 3X week. I was doing this but moving stress has halted my good habits. Time to get this going again. I am worth it.


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3/3/17 8:38 A

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

The mind is a baby giant who, more provident in the cradle than he knows, has hurled his paths in life all round ahead of him, like playthings....
--Robert Frost

Sometimes we are bewildered by the options open to us. We feel we have no way of knowing which course would be best. But when we reflect calmly on our choices, we usually find very few that are realistic, that are in tune with our personalities and consonant with the rest of our lives.

It sometimes seems that a choice made, or an option dropped, when we are very young, can determine our whole lives. This is probably an illusion. Perhaps we believe that our fate was forever altered by missing a train ten years ago. Late at night, we might talk wistfully of what might have been, "If only I'd caught that train..."

Most likely, though, our lives would have turned out pretty much the same. What happens to us, and what we choose, seem to follow the same pattern - a pattern that is true for each one of us. We've marked out our paths, whether we're fully aware of them or not.

Sometimes I am indecisive because I desire to remain open to life's choices. Today I will act freely and strengthen that freedom by making responsible decisions.



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3/2/17 11:21 A

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

A.A. Thought for the Day

We used to run people down all the time. We realize now that it was because we wanted unconsciously to build ourselves up. We were envious of people who lived normal lives. We couldn't understand why we couldn't be like them. And so we ran them down. We were always looking for faults in the other person. We have found that we can never make a person any better by criticism. Am I less critical of people?

Meditation for the Day

I must admit my helplessness before my prayer for help will be heard by God. My own need must be recognized before I can ask God for the strength to meet that need. But once that need is recognized, my prayer is heard above all the music of heaven.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may send my voiceless cry for help out into the void. I pray that I may feel certain that it will be heard somewhere, somehow.

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3/1/17 8:38 A

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

Unselfishness

Dear Lord,

I must continually work toward unselfishness.

To be unselfish is to be useful.

When I am selfish, I am useless to myself, You, and others.

Help me to stop thinking on only me and to stop hoarding not only material things but also my thoughts and feelings from others.

Dear Lord, grant that I may practice what the Program teaches me.

My life has been saved by what others have given me.

I must, in turn, give it away to keep it.

Let's walk!


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2/28/17 11:16 A

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

God creates. People rearrange.
--Joseph Casey

Being alive is our invitation to act in fresh, inventive ways. All it takes is concentrating on our inner vision in combination with external reality. The components for accomplishing any task are at our fingertips, awaiting discovery.

Our burdens are lightened when we understand that all situations are resolvable - no mystery need leave us in the dark for long. Just as surely as we each exist, so exists every element we need to solve any problem or chart any new course. Our purpose in life is to select those elements that will satisfy the need. We each have been blessed with this capability for proper selection.

The day promises challenge and many choices. I can successfully handle all possibilities.

Let's walk!


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2/27/17 8:32 A

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

Next year I'm going to be better than I am now, but today I'm the best I can be.

It is quite possible to waste a lot of time and energy trying to make impossible changes. Many of us, inspired by the dynamics of the program and driven more by enthusiasm than prudence, strike out on missions that cannot be accomplished - missions we cannot win and should never undertake.

Turning back the clock is one of these. It can't be done. Controlling someone else's behavior is another. We can set the stage for the desired behavior, encourage it, and improve the odds by getting out of the way, but we don't have it in our bag of tricks to make people think, feel, or do any one thing.

The program addresses the art of the possible. The only options we have are the options that are available to us. If our former partners don't want to reconcile with us, that's not an available option. A happily-ever-after marriage is not possible if we haven't yet learned how to have a healthy relationship. Instead, we can focus on acquiring these people skills by building to our own possibilities.

Today, I will examine my range of available choices.

Let's walk!


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2/26/17 9:18 A

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

Life is like a library owned by an author. In it are a few books, which he wrote himself, but most of them were written for him.
--Harry Emerson Fosdick

In our minds there are multitudes of stored memories, knowledge, and skills. Some of these are the results of living and learning, but most are information given to us by others. Our family, friends, co-workers, teachers, and children are the greatest sources for our storehouses of information.

Most of our learning comes from others. Teachers give us much in the way of facts. Our family instructs us in morals. Friends show us different personalities and lifestyles. Our children reflect what we've taught them and give us their views of the world.

All the information we have is valuable to our growth and maturity. Every person we meet, each place we visit, and everything we try contributes to our library of knowledge and experience. At times we may borrow from what is on our shelves, but we must keep our shelves stocked with fresh material. Each night we can write a new volume based on the day's experiences.

I have more valuable contributions to make to my library of knowledge and experience.

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2/25/17 9:08 A

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

Nothing happens to any man that he is not formed by nature to bear.
--Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Reflecting on the past reveals that indeed we do find the strength and the ability to cope with whatever experience ripples our calm. Moreover, we have come to accept that these tides of turmoil wash in new awarenesses, heightened perceptions, and measurable calm.

Tragedies are guaranteed to trigger first pain, then perceptible growth, and finally, tranquility. Over and over again we pass through these stages that are designed to nurture our fuller development as healthy human beings. Over and over we see that the tough times teach us what we're ready to learn.

We can look to the day ahead fully expecting to be strengthened enough to handle whatever we've been readied to experience. Nothing will present itself that can't be coped with.

Today I can be certain of growing. I will meet the challenges in unison with my inner strength.

Let's walk!


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2/25/17 2:55 A

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2/24/17 8:34 A

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

Unless our desire for human compassion is stronger than our desire to be right, to be secure or to belong, love will elude us.
--Marsha Sinetar

Knowing we are loved is what most of us crave. For brief moments we feel it; then it eludes us once again. Why does it slip through our fingers so quickly? One way of attracting the love we desire is to be willing to love others. What we give to others comes back to us. Unfortunately, we may give judgment, impatience, or anger far more often than we give love.

We can learn to give compassion. First we need to make the decision to be compassionate. Then we need to act as if we're comfortable doing this. When we have practiced it awhile, we'll discover that giving love and receiving the love we crave is within our grasp.

I will feel loved when I give love away. I don't need to be right today. I need to be loved.

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2/23/17 2:45 P

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

I haven't won yet but I haven't lost, either.
--Dennis C.

A favorite saying in sports is, "It isn't losing to get knocked down. Losing is staying down."

In life, as in sports, that idea makes great sense. Like "Let go and let God," or "Let it begin with me," it is a saying that reminds us of an important underlying principle. In this case the principle is that battles aren't wars, but rather a series of campaigns. No one wins every time out, or can expect to. And some battles aren't worth fighting anyway.

Fighting a battle isn't hell – our unrealistic expectations are. When we strike out against some old attitude or behavior, we have to realize we're in for the long haul. When the enemy is some aspect of ourselves, we are up against a formidable opponent that won't give up easily. We have to expect that there will be many battles – and not a few defeats. The winner is the one who perseveres longest.

Only continued effort wins the war; we can't lose if we don't quit.

Today, I pray for persistence in the face of many defeats. I ask my Higher Power for courage to keep at it.

Let's walk!


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2/22/17 8:37 A

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

All the arts we practice are apprenticeship. The big art is our life.
--M. C. Richards

What you do for a living is not who you are. You are more, much more, than that.

It's easy to get so caught up in what we do that we're only identifying ourselves through our daily tasks. I am a mechanic. I am a parking lot attendant. I am a doctor. I am a dishwasher. When we link ourselves too closely to our jobs, we deny ourselves the chance to ever be anything else.

God gave us the power to change. You're more than what you do. You're a vital vibrant soul that came here to experience, grow, and change. Make a masterpiece out of your life.

God, help me realize the glory of my soul. Thank you for my mortality and for the ability to learn and grow.

Let's walk!


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2/21/17 8:44 A

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

Behind an able man there are always other able men.
--Chinese proverb

Most of us have had a strong desire in our lives to "do it ourselves." We have had the idea that strength and independence meant we should not rely on or receive help from others. Now, in recovery, we are learning a far more mature and time-honored principle. We find strength to develop to our fullest as members of a community. Maybe we never learned how to ask for help. Perhaps we haven't learned yet how to accept it. It may still be difficult to express our gratitude for the help that brought us where we are today.

In recovery, we get many lessons about these things. If we are actively growing, we will get help from others and give it too. The rewards of recovery give us ample reasons and opportunities to express our gratitude. We are no longer loners. Now we have a network of friends who truly enjoy and enhance each other's strength.

Today, I pray for help in learning how to share my strength and to appreciate the strength of others.

Let's walk!


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2/20/17 9:24 A

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Today's thoughts from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation are:

Bring the body, and the mind will follow.
--Saying heard in meetings

Newcomer

What do people in recovery mean when they say they have "smart feet"?

Sponsor

In recovery, we develop daily habits that we don't question: the habit of attending meetings, the habit of picking up the telephone to call a sponsor or to share with another recovering person, the habit of starting and ending the day with our preferred combination of prayer, literature, and meditation. We do these things whether we feel like doing them or not, and in time they become second nature to us, automatic as our addictive behavior was in the past. If we don't have to discuss these habits with ourselves, argue about whether or not they'll make us feel better, or question whether we've outgrown them, our burden is lighter.

Once we're at a meeting or sharing with another recovering person or with our Higher Power, the unexpected happens. We're lifted out of the tyranny of addictive thinking. "Smart feet" are feet that carry us to a place we need to be, whether we know it ahead of time or not.

Today, I'm grateful for simple habits that open my heart and mind to recovery.

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2/19/17 9:18 A

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

A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it is committing another mistake.
--Confucius

Step Ten tells us that when we are wrong, we must "promptly" admit it. We aren't used to admitting our mistakes. We defend ourselves or blame others. This is called denial.

Denial is bad for two reasons. First, it keeps us from learning from our mistakes, so we keep making them. Second, we don't listen to others, so we close off ourselves and become lonely.

What a relief it is to admit our wrongs! We don't have to keep trying to do things the hard way. We can learn new ways to think and act that will work better for us. We can let other people be our teachers.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, help me out of denial, so I can see the changes I need to make.

Action for the Day

Today, if I disagree with someone, I'll promptly admit it when I'm wrong. If I'm right, I'll be gentle. I don't have to prove anything.

Let's walk!


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2/18/17 9:10 A

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

. . .the living touch of another human being.

When tragedy strikes, we fight to understand why. Something may strike out of nowhere and turn our lives around. We would like to believe that there is some way to explain tragedy. We think that if we could explain it, maybe we could protect ourselves. We wonder if we are being punished. Has an uncaring God abandoned us? We may believe that if God cared, no tragedy would happen.

This is not always a just world. But if we let God be there for us, listening to our rage at injustice and comforting our tears, we can recover, move on, and know that we are not alone. God is with us in the words and the living touch of another human being. We may want to retreat within ourselves when tragedy strikes. This is not a bad or wrong feeling, but it is still important to let others be with us. Time spent with friends and family, and prayer time with our Higher Power, helps us realize that we are not alone in our grief.

Remember a painful time and tell what helped you get through it.

Let's walk!


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2/17/17 9:25 A

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

I will love you no matter what. I will love you if you are stupid, if you slip and fall on your face, if you do the wrong thing, if you make mistakes, if you behave like a human being - I will love you no matter.
--Leo Buscaglia

Wouldn't it be nice if there were just one person in our lives who loved us no matter what our faults? And wouldn't it be equally nice if we, too, could love just one person in the same way?

Love is not an easy emotion for us to feel. In the past we may have associated feelings of love with negative feelings such as pain, hurt, rejection, or disappointment. But we can put the negative feelings aside and learn how to feel love as a positive emotion.

Love does not necessarily mean sexual attraction or commitment. Love can simply be seeing someone for who he or she is, whether that person is a friend, coworker, boss, family member, or lover. To show love, we can keep our actions simple - by making a phone call, writing a letter, or sharing a hug. Let's show someone we care.

Let's walk!


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2/16/17 8:35 A

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

In Micronesian, there's a word, kukaro, which has no corresponding word in English. When people say they are going to kukaro, they mean they are going to relax, sit around, and hang out. They are being, not doing.
--Eli and Beth Halpern

As children, our best times are often trips to an amusement park, fishing at the lake, camping, or just sitting idly under a tree. These make the best memories, and times sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows or having a root beer after a family outing seem to bring out the love we share.

We don't seem to be accomplishing anything at these times. No chores are getting done around the house, no schoolwork, no repairs, and no moneymaking.

But these times of peace, relaxation, and a sense of endless time of being, not doing, may be essential to our ability to get other things done later. Certainly we are most receptive to our feelings, new ideas, and unplanned adventures at these moments. Maybe we should add kukaro to our vocabulary.

What timeless thing can I do today?

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2/16/17 3:41 A

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2/15/17 8:32 A

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

To avoid pain at all costs forces us to reject half the lessons life can teach.
--Jan Pishok

If we could remember that every experience we'll ever have is unique and offers us a lesson we will grow from, we'd accept them all with far greater ease. What's there to be afraid of anyway? God is never absent. In fact, God is present during every experience. Remembering this makes us courageous as we walk through the turmoil that interrupts the peaceful times.

Before coming to this program, we feared most of the situations that called to us, and understandably so. We were often trying to do the improbable without the wisdom or the guidance that might have guaranteed success. By taking the Third Step every morning of our lives, as has been suggested, we can positively influence the outcome of every experience we'll have. Hallelujah!

I will not avoid any experience today. I'll simply remember that God is present and that I need to know what calls to me.

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2/15/17 4:19 A

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2/14/17 8:44 A

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

Love is the magician, the enchanter that changes worthless things to joy, and makes right royal kings and queens of common clay.
--Robert G. Ingersoll

Love invites us to perform our very best. Knowing we're loved removes the edge of terror when we're contemplating the unfamiliar -- the party with strangers or meeting a new boss.

We are transformed by love. It comforts the questioning mind and the quavering heart. We can endure the long moments of suspense while awaiting a hoped-for outcome when we know we're loved. And those times we doubt another's love, times that are sure to come, will quickly slip by if we're reaching out with a loving heart to someone else.

Every event promises greater joy when experienced with a spirit laced with love. The robin's song, the laughter of children, the vibrant colors that ooze from the petals of flowers capture our attention when we're feeling loved.

Love heals us and bonds us and promises us a life filled with moments of magic.

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2/14/17 3:25 A

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2/13/17 8:44 A

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

Leaving Room for Feelings

We need to allow enough room for others and ourselves to have and work through our feelings.

We are people, not robots. An important part of us - who we are, how we grow, how we live - is connected to our emotional center. We have feelings, sometimes - difficult ones, sometimes-disruptive ones, and sometimes-explosive ones that need to be worked through.

By facing and working through these feelings we and others grow. In relationships, whether it be a love relationship, a friendship, a family relationship, or a close business relationship, people need room to have and work through their feelings.

Some call it "going through the process."

We need time to work through feelings. We need the space and permission to work through these feelings in the awkward, uncomfortable, sometimes messy way that people work through feelings.

This is life. This is growth. This is okay.

I can set reasonable boundaries for behavior and still leave room for a range of emotions.

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2/12/17 9:30 A

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

My life, I will not let you go except you bless me, but then I will let you go.
--Isak Dinesen

There is something noble in the spirits of those who battle death, who cling to life. We are all moved by their struggle, yet perhaps it is nobler still to let life go when the time comes.

This makes sense only if we think we can look back on a life lived to the fullest. We wouldn't want to die without knowing we had stretched our limits, inhabited them as largely as we could. Not in a worldly sense, perhaps; spiritual breadth can be as exciting as travel, sport, romance, or achievement. It's the limits of our brain and heart we want to test; for that, we could live in one room.

Not everyone is blessed with robust physical health, but we all have the capacity for spiritual health and adventure. Self-examination and meditation are the tools for self-knowledge and serenity. Unknown adventure awaits us when we seek to know ourselves.

My spiritual journey is the real one in my life. On that road, the true blessings are encountered.

Let's walk!


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2/11/17 9:30 A

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

Education should be the process of helping everyone to discover his uniqueness.
--Leo Buscaglia

We are each special, which means there is not another person just like ourselves. Nobody looks just like us. Nobody's voice sounds quite like our own. And nobody thinks through a story just like we do.

Each of us has been created for a special purpose. Maybe it's for what we'll teach a friend, or the way we'll help a sister or a brother. Every day will give us chances to offer our special talents to others. Our being alive is God's way of proving that we're important to the family, the neighborhood, the world.

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2/10/17 8:39 A

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

Reflection for the Day

If I live just one day at a time, I won't so quickly entertain fears of what might happen tomorrow. As long as I'm concentrating on today's activities, there won't be room in my mind for worrying. I'll try to fill every minute of this day with something good - seen, heard, accomplished. Then, when the day is ended, I'll be able to look back on it with satisfaction, serenity and gratitude. Do I sometimes cherish bad feelings so that I can feel sorry for myself?

Today I Pray

That I will get out of the self-pity act and live for today. May I notice the good things from dawn to nightfall, learn to talk about them and thank God for them. May I catch myself if I seem to be relishing my moans and complaints more often than appreciating the goodness of my life.

Today I Will Remember

Today is good.



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2/9/17 8:37 A

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

Though we be sick and tired and faint and worn--Lo, all things can be borne.
--Elizabeth Chase Akers

What bothered us most a year ago? A month ago? Even a week ago? It's probably that whatever it was, we were obsessed with it, certain that our futures were ruined, that there was no reasonable solution. It's also probable that we feared we simply couldn't survive the complexity of the situation. But we did. And we always will be able to survive any and all difficulties. We are never, absolutely never, given more than we can handle. In fact, we are given exactly what we need, at any given time.

We have many lessons to learn. Fortunately, we have the structure of the Twelve Steps to guide us through the lessons. We need mainly to remember what we are powerless over, that there is a power greater than ourselves, and that life will become simple; we'll need no extra homework when we've turned it over to the care of God.

Whatever my problem today, I will let God have it. A solution is in the making. I'll see it just as quickly as I can let go of the problem.

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2/9/17 3:09 A

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2/8/17 8:43 A

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Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation 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.

Let's walk!


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2/7/17 8:28 A

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

Enjoying the Good Days

Good feelings can become a habitual part of our life. There is absolutely no virtue in the unnecessary suffering many of us have felt for much of our life. We don't have to allow others to make us miserable, and we don't have to make ourselves miserable.

A good day does not have to be the "calm before the storm." That's an old way of thinking we learned in dysfunctional systems. In recovery, a good day or a good feeling doesn't mean we're in denial. We don't have to wreck our good times by obsessively searching for or creating a problem.

Enjoying our good days doesn't mean we're being disloyal to loved ones who are having problems. We don't have to make ourselves feel guilty because other people aren't having a good day. We don't have to make ourselves miserable to be like them. They can have their day and their feelings; we can have ours.

A good feeling is to be enjoyed. More than we can imagine, good days are ours for the asking.

Today, I will let myself enjoy what is good. I don't have to wreck my good day or good feeling; I don't have to let others spoil it either.



Let's walk!


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2/7/17 3:39 A

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2/6/17 3:34 P

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

Every human being is a problem in search of a solution.
--Ashley Montagu

Each of us is a strong and fragile creature. We're always subject to forces outside our control, and we're learning steps for living that help us cope and rise above these problems. Our particular situation might seem special to us but in another sense, everyone's situation is a unique problem. Spiritual growth is the result of coming face to face with our own situation, feeling the brunt of our own puzzlement, recognizing no recipe will apply completely, and then trusting our Higher Power as we make unsure responses.

No school or parent can ever teach us enough to smooth our search for solutions. We become complete human beings by living through the muddle, by truly trusting our connections with God and other people to carry us along until we find clarity again. We progress into adulthood when we meet our own particular life crises. We learn to see we have this process in common with every human being. Rather than resist our problems, we band together with others and pool our strength to find solutions.

My problems today are opportunities for spiritual growth.

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2/5/17 9:24 A

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

Sometimes, the way is not clear.

Our minds get clouded, confused. We aren't certain what our next step should be, what it will look like, what direction we are headed.

This is the time to stop, ask for guidance, and rest. That is the time to let go of fear. Wait. Feel the confusion and chaos, and then let it go. The path will show itself. The next step shall be revealed. We don't have to know now. We will know in time. Trust that. Let go and trust.

Today, I will wait if the way is not clear. I will trust that out of the chaos will come clarity.

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2/4/17 12:10 P

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2/4/17 9:11 A

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

Easy Does It

Dear God,

Help me remember to take things slowly for spiritual progress requires time for growth. Maturity is not an overnight miracle. Help me to be productive and keep me from procrastinating or being impatient and rushing ahead too quickly. I will remind myself today not to push myself faster than I need to go.

I won't push the river, I'll let it flow.

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2/3/17 8:42 A

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

We must constantly build dykes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.
--Martin Luther King, Jr.

The definition of courage is the ability to conquer fear or despair. In the past we may have been called courageous because we stayed in circumstances that were difficult or nearly unbearable. We may have felt that walking away from family, children, or friends was cowardly or displayed weakness. We may have felt that by holding back our tears we were stronger people.

Yet all the things we may have viewed as weakness are really signs of courage. All the things we believed to be acts of courage were really not courageous at all. If we walked away from difficult or unbearable circumstances, we would be conquering despair. If we cried, we would have been courageous by letting go of our fear, pain, or sadness.

Courage doesn't mean putting ourselves in stressful or unpleasant situations. Courage doesn't mean controlling our emotions. Courage is the ability to strengthen ourselves against the fear and despair of life, rather than be drowned by it.

What have I done today that took courage? I can be grateful for my courage and strengthen it.

Let's walk!


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2/2/17 7:58 P

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2/2/17 8:38 A

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

There is always a "but" in this imperfect world.
--Helen Keller

Often there is not a day that goes by without some tragic or upsetting news story. An act of terrorism, a natural disaster, or a school shooting can dominate the air waves and make it seem as if all there is in the world are tragedy, loss, and immeasurable sorrow. At those times when the world seems to be crashing down around you, you may be tempted to look at your addiction from a different perspective.

You may consider, for instance, how minor your addiction is compared to everything else that is going on. So you might tell yourself, "Okay, I think I have a problem with alcohol, But maybe my problem isn't so bad after all." Or you may think, "But all I did was just knock over a trash can when I was drunk. It's not as if I killed someone."

Maintaining sobriety can be an extremely difficult task. But you make it more difficult whenever you spend more time trying to find excuses than doing what it is you need to do in your recovery. While it is true that sometimes there is too much tragedy and negative news, such things should not be taken as reasons for you to take a break from your recovery.

Today I will not excuse myself from my recovery.

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2/2/17 12:02 A

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2/1/17 11:26 A

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

Say when it's time to stop coping.

In her book Recovering from the Loss of a Child, author Katherine Fair Donnelly writes of a man whose infant daughter, Robyn, dies from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). The child had died in the stroller, while the mother was out walking her. The father had stopped to get a haircut that day and was given a number for his turn.

"It was something he never did again in future years," Donnelly wrote. "He would never take a number at the barber's and always came home first to make sure everything was all right. Then he would go and get a haircut. It became one of the ways he found of coping."

I hate coping. It's not living. It's not being free. It reeks of surviving.

But sometimes it's the best we can do, for a while.

Eight years after my son died, I was signing the papers to purchase a home. It was the first home I had bought since his death. The night before he died, I had also signed papers to buy a new home. I didn't know that I had begun to associate buying a home with his death, until I noticed my hand trembling and my heart pounding as I finished signing the purchase agreement. For eight years, I had simply avoiding buying a home, renting one less-than-desirable place after another and complaining about the travails of being a renter. I only knew then that I was "never going to buy another house again." I didn't understand that I was coping.

Many of us find ways of coping. As children, we may have become very angry with our parents. Having no recourse, we may have said to ourselves, "I'll show them, I'm never going to do well at music, or sports, or studies again." As adults, we may deal with a loss, or death, by saying, "I'm always going to be nice to people and make them happy. Then they won't go away." Or we may deal with a betrayal by saying, "I'm never going to open my heart to a woman, or man, again."

Coping often includes making an incorrect connection between an event and our behavior. It may help us survive, but at some point our coping behaviors usually get in our way. They become habits and take on a life of their own. And although we think we're protecting ourselves or someone we love, we aren't.

Robyn didn't die because her father took a number and waited to get his hair cut.

My son didn't die because I bought a new house.

Are you keeping yourself from dong something that you really want to do as a means of coping with something that happened to you a long time ago? Cope if you must, if it helps save your life. But maybe today is the day you could set yourself free.

God, show me if I'm limiting myself and my life in some way by using an outdated coping behavior. Help me know that I'm safe and strong enough now to let that survival behavior go.

Let's walk!


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1/31/17 8:39 A

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

The universe operates through dynamic exchange . . .
--Deepak Chopra

The word currency comes from the Latin word currere, which means "to run," as in "to flow." Currency, or course, is another term for money. By definition, money is meant to be exchanged. We give and receive it. We've probably all heard the expressions "What goes around comes around," "Give and you shall receive," and "You get what you give." We've probably all experienced this phenomenon as well, sometimes with surprise or even amazement.

When we feel we're lacking, we open our hearts to giving. When we give what we seek, we find it returns to us at the right time and place - just when we need it, reminding us that we do not lack for anything. Gifts needn't be material or verbal. They can be good thoughts and prayers, affection, or time.

Today I will give joyfully, knowing that my needs will be met.

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1/30/17 8:20 A

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

An honest man's the noblest work of God.
--Alexander Pope

Step Five says, "Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." When we did this Step, the person we admitted our wrongs to didn't run away or reject us. That person stuck with us. Chances are, we were told that we are quite human. And working Step Five helped us to see that we can change, now that we're sober.

The most important part of Step Five is the act of being totally honest about ourselves. Then we know that relationships - with our Higher Power, ourselves, and others - can be built. We have faced the truth. Now we know we never have to lie.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, I know no Fifth Step is perfect. Please help me be as honest as I can in doing my Fifth Step and at other times.

Action for the Day

If I've avoided doing a Fifth Step, I'll talk to my sponsor about it today.

Let's walk!


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1/29/17 9:37 A

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

Recovering takes practice.

No one learns how to play golf in a day, or masters a musical instrument in a week, or builds a relationship in a month. Neither does recovery happen overnight.

If we're ready and lucky, we may immediately take the direct path of abstinence and stay on it without making any detours. When that occurs, it's wonderful, but it's just a beginning. Recovering is more than abstaining. . . Recovering is a new way of life that involves our entire being.

It involves how we think, feel, act, and believe. Before we're very far along the path, we realize we're learning a whole new way of orienting ourselves to the events of every day. It feels good, and the more we practice, the more complete our recovery.

I give thanks for another day to practice recovering.

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1/29/17 9:37 A

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Sounds like an interesting book, Chris. I believe Abraham Lincoln was a very complicated man.

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1/28/17 12:22 P

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I am reading Team of Rivals about Abraham Lincoln. His attitude was very positive even with all the things he had to worry about. The movie, Lincoln, was based on this book.

chris

The move is DONE. A big goal met! But selling the "old" condo has been a rough ride. I am dealing with problems and have to be diligent about caring for myself. Hoping not eating gluten/sugar will help my mood, pain, energy level.
GOAL: Reduce A1C,BP,tryglicerides,and weight. HOW? Low carb plan with lots of veggies and water aerobics at least 3X week. I was doing this but moving stress has halted my good habits. Time to get this going again. I am worth it.


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1/28/17 9:29 A

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

Later is now.
--Roseanne Barr

Newcomer

I guess I do have some addiction problems, but right now is a terrible time for me. I know you'd like me to be more involved, use the program more, but I need time - there's something else I have to deal with first. I've tried talking about it at meetings, but no one really has much understanding of my particular problem.

Sponsor

I do respect the fact that there are pressing problems in your life and that you are going to have to face them. Addiction is, in one sense, a response to underlying issues we all have to deal with. And in addition to our inner problems, many of us enter recovery in the midst of some crisis - serious illness, separation, overdue taxes, even homelessness - are situations some of us have had to face while newly recovering. I agree that your problems are real ones. But putting off recovery is not likely to help you with them. It may make things worse.

While I may not be able to help with the specifics of your situation, I can be here to share my experience, strength, and hope as a person in recovery. Recovery is the foundation of my life today. I make it my highest priority, and as time goes on I find the help and strength I need to resolve everything else I have to deal with. If you, too, have the willingness to face your addiction and show up for your recovery, I'm willing to be here.

Today, I will let go of all obstacles to recovery.

Let's walk!


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1/27/17 8:45 A

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

We can act ourselves into right thinking easier than we can think ourselves into right acting.
--Anonymous

The best thing for us to do in our 12 Step Program is to be honest in how we act and think. We must be true to that belief.

We can't think for others, and they can't think for us. Friends can tell us the lessons they have learned from their experiences. If those lessons fit us, we can use them to help guide us and our thinking. We often hear, "Take what you need and leave the rest."

As good for us as our ideas are, we must not force them on others. We can only offer them. And we won't be true to ourselves if we are jealous of other people's ideas. We never know what we can do until we try, and we can't be sure what ideas are best for us until we test them.

Am I dedicated to the beliefs that are best for me in my recovery?

Let's walk!


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AJDOVER1's Photo AJDOVER1 SparkPoints: (424,677)
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1/26/17 8:38 A

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

If you want to be found, stand where the seeker seeks.
--Sidney Lanier

When does a good program turn into a bad program? When it becomes a hiding place. As adult children, we are good – no, ingenious – at finding hiding places.

Sometimes we hide behind our work by staying super busy. We hide in prayer itself – behind sweet-sounding words. We can choose to always be tired so we can hide in sleep. We can hide behind any of the "helper" roles by fixing others so we never have to fix ourselves. We can even make our program a hiding place by going through the motions, saying all the right things, but never really encountering ourselves.

If we want to be found, we have to come out where somebody can find us.

I will identify my hiding places and make conscious decisions about choosing them or not.

Let's walk!


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CETANISTAWI's Photo CETANISTAWI Posts: 5,723
1/26/17 3:47 A

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Co-leader Frozen Northerners


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AJDOVER1's Photo AJDOVER1 SparkPoints: (424,677)
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1/25/17 10:50 A

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

Draw from others the lesson that may profit yourself.
--Terence

Our Twelve Step program offers us the best education in the world, free of charge. Everybody in recovery has something to teach us, if we'll listen. Each of us has a unique set of experiences and background, problems and solutions to share. From each other we can learn about recovery and about the world, too. We can hear what it's like to live on the streets, even if we didn't lose everything to addiction. We can learn how others got their families involved in a Twelve Step program of their own. We can learn about the problems we may encounter at work, how to avoid them, and how to solve them. We can hear from someone who has been there, rather than through relapse, how it feels to be addicted to another substance.

The experience of others gives us a rare chance to broaden our horizons. We can learn how it feels to be a member of a minority, how to love ourselves enough to combat hatred, how to triumph from adversity. Most important, by listening to others with respect and love, we can learn to truly value other people, even those who are different from us.

Today help me appreciate the teachings of my Twelve Step program. Help me continue to learn.

Let's walk!


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