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7/1/16 8:40 A

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

Yesterday is over.

It is a fact of life that what is old dies to make way for what is new. Endings are often painful - we mourn the death of a relationship, we regret leaving a familiar neighborhood, we don't like to say good-bye.

Endings, though, give us the chance to begin again. A new friend comes in to fill the empty space left when an old friend moves away. A new school, a new job, a new season of the year - these are fresh starts that evolve from what has gone before.

We need not fear the inevitable endings in our lives. Daily, we are renewed. Our bodies produce new cells continually. When we are going through an ending, we may not be able to see the new beginning that lies beyond, but we can trust it will be there for us when we are ready. We can welcome the new opportunities that each day brings and consider them gifts from the Higher Power that is with us to guide us through each end and each beginning.

I will let yesterday end so that today can begin.

Let's walk!


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6/30/16 10:03 A

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6/30/16 8:41 A

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

The process of living, for each of us, is pretty similar. For every gain there is a setback. For every success, a failure. For every moment of joy, a time of sadness. For every hope realized, one is dashed.
--Sue Atchley Ebaugh

The balance of events in our lives is much like the balance of nature. The pendulum swings; every extreme condition is offset by its opposite, and we learn to appreciate the gifts . . . of the bad times as well as the periods of rest.

On occasion we'll discover that our course in life has changed direction. We need not be alarmed. Step Three has promised that we are in caring hands.

We can develop gratitude for all conditions, good or bad. Each has its necessary place in our development as healthy, happy people. We need the sorrows along with the joys if we are to gain new insights. Our failures keep us humble; they remind us of our need for the care and guidance of others. And for every hope dashed, we can remember, one will be realized.

Life is a process. Each variation, in its own way, blesses me.

Let's walk!


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6/30/16 3:19 A

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6/29/16 8:50 A

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

In three words I can sum up everything
I've learned about life:
It goes on.
--Robert Frost

Most of us are afraid of anything we can't control. Life is one of these things. During our drinking and drugging days, we had checked out of life. We were sitting on the sidelines, pretending we could get back into it whenever we wanted. But life went on without us. Friends built careers and loving families, and we fell behind. Friends built deeper intimate relationships. They became skillful at living a life of values and communicating with their Higher Power. We fell behind.

Working the Steps requires us to get working. Ours is a program of action. At times we will want to stop and sit on the side of the road again. But we must go on! Go and be of service. Go talk to a friend. Go to an extra meeting. We got sober to have a life, not to sit on the sidelines. We must be recovery in motion, living a program of action.

Prayer for the Day

Place me in the middle of life, Higher Power.
Help me be a person of action. When fear says, "Stop!"
Please whisper in my ear, "Go on, go on!"

Today's Action

Today I will be active and involved in my program and in life. I will be a doer not a watcher.

Let's walk!


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6/28/16 5:41 P

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6/28/16 11:01 A

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

I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money.
--Pablo Picasso

Some of us were taught not to place a lot of value on money. After all, it's only money, and money can't buy happiness. True enough. While many of us don't place much value on money, we manage to value the possessions that money can buy. The result is that we treat money frivolously and spend it recklessly.

We know it's true that love and the quality of our relationships are far more valuable than money. We also know we can't put a price tag on good health. We begin, however, to appreciate and to value money for what it is - a means to an end and a responsibility. When we value money, we're less likely to spend it carelessly or frivolously. We're more likely to save it and to put it to good use.

Today I give my cash the same value I place on my most treasured material possessions.

Let's walk!


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6/28/16 3:08 A

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6/27/16 8:45 A

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

Recognizing Choices

We have choices, more choices than we let ourselves see.

We may feel trapped in our relationships, our jobs, our life. We may feel locked into behaviors such as caretaking or controlling.

Feeling trapped is a symptom of codependency. When we hear ourselves say, I have to take care of this person . . . I have to say yes . . . I have to try to control that person . . . I have to behave this way, think this way, feel this way . . . we can know we are choosing not to see choices.

That sense of being trapped is an illusion. We are not controlled by circumstances, our past, the expectations of others, or our unhealthy expectations for ourselves. We can choose what feels right for us, without guilt. We have options.

Recovery is not about behaving perfectly or according to anyone else's rules. More than anything else, recovery is about knowing we have choices and giving ourselves the freedom to choose.

Today, I will open my thinking and myself to the choices available to me. I will make choices that are good for me.

Let's walk!


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6/27/16 5:27 A

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6/26/16 9:32 A

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

Hatred is never anything but fear - if you feared no one, you would hate no one.
--Hugh Downs

On those occasions when we find the bigger person within, we are more generous in spirit toward others. But sometimes we think too much about what is wrong with others and how they ought to change. That is a form of hate. If we are searching for what we have power to change in our families, in our friendships, in the world, we can learn to be big enough to set aside our fears.

Do we bear ill will toward someone today? When we are honest with ourselves, do we feel a sense of fear in relation to this person? What are we really afraid of? Perhaps the same person fears us. When we can do something about our fear, the hatred melts with no further effort. Then we are in touch with the bigger person within.

I have the inner strength to face my fears today. I will not send them outward as hatred.

Let's walk!


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6/25/16 8:48 A

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

It is not fair to ask of others what you, are not willing to do yourself.
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

Equality is a state of mind. When we value our own self-worth, we are comfortable with the achievements and the well-being of our friends and associates. The symptoms of a punctured ego occur when we criticize others and make demands we don't want to fulfill ourselves.

Most of us experience wavering self-confidence on occasion. It may haunt us when a big task faces us. Or it may visit us when we least expect it. It's a facet of the human condition to sometimes lack self-assurance. At times we need to remember that life is purposeful, and the events involving us are by design.

Almost daily we'll face situations we fear are more than we can handle, and we'll hope to pass the task off to another. It's well for us to remember that we're never given a task for which we're not prepared. Nor should we pass on to others those activities we need to experience personally if our growth is to be complete.

I must do my own growing today. If I ask others to do what I should do, I'll not fulfill my part of life's bargain.

Let's walk!


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6/24/16 2:26 P

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

He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven.
--Thomas Fuller

We have all seen adventure movies in which the heroes or villains are caught on a bridge that collapses. As they fall to whatever lies below, they are perhaps able to climb to one side or the other. But for the time being, their ability to cross between the two sides is gone.

When we have been hurt by people in our lives, or when we have hurt others, mutual forgiveness is needed in order to rebuild the trust between us. It is very much like rebuilding a bridge - one piece at a time. We take cautious steps at first - testing the safety and strength of our bridge.

When two people have become separated by loss or anger, it is forgiveness that can rebuild the bridge between them. Forgiveness needs time and so does the rebuilding of trust.

Let's walk!


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6/24/16 8:42 A

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

We Are Who We Think We Are

How we think about ourselves has an impact on what we do. If we decide that we are less of a person because we have an illness, then we may not fulfill our potential. If we decide our illness will consume our every thought and action for the rest of our lives, then it probably will. If we decide that we will always be a victim and our life will bring us nothing but misfortune, then our life may just turn out that way.

On the other hand, if we begin to believe positive things about ourselves, eventually our outlook on life will become positive as well. When we believe that we are lovable, that we can cope with our illness, and that we are no less of a person because of it, then this is what shall be. We can change who we are by changing who we believe ourselves to be.

Today, do I remind myself of my abilities, my choices, and my opportunities?

Thought for the Day

My attitude and perspective can make life more positive and joyful.

Let's walk!


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6/23/16 3:27 A

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6/22/16 12:59 P

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

The Program works if you want it to work.
--Anonymous

Rarely do climbers stare up to see how far away the top still is. Instead, when they rest, they look down toward the starting point of their journey. The view they see assures them that they have already come a long, long way.

Like the climbers, we need to keep our eyes on where we are and where we've been, not on where we're going. When we become discouraged with the progress of our recovery, we only need to look back over how far we have come. The rewarding view gives us courage to continue. Many of us recall times when we lived without hope and the sense of impending doom. Now we look forward to life with confidence.

Today, I will remember to face my climb with optimism. Even if my progress sometimes seems slow to me, it's still a long way from where I once was.

Let's walk!


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6/21/16 8:43 A

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

Friendship with oneself is very important because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.
--Eleanor Roosevelt

What do we need from a friend? Let's think about that for a moment and see if it applies to how we treat ourselves.

Let's start with the basics: A friend is for us, not against us. That means a friend won't do anything to harm us if he or she can possibly help it. A friend is there for us when we need understanding, tells us the truth, and does the things he or she promises to do. A friend likes to be around us, thinks we are a good person, and believes we are honest. A friend shares what is going on in his or her life and cares about what is going on in ours. A friend does things to help us feel happy. A friend forgives us when we ask for forgiveness.

We do these things for our friends. And we do a much better job of them now that we are sober. But do we do them for ourselves? It's a question worth thinking about: Am I a good friend to myself?

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, help me pay attention to myself the way I pay attention to my friends.

Today's Action

I will have a little friend-to-friend visit with myself right now. How am I doing? What's going on with me? Want to go for a walk and talk, catch up on things? How about going to the new exhibit at the art museum this weekend?

Let's walk!


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6/21/16 2:35 A

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6/20/16 8:46 A

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

Experience has taught me this, that we undo ourselves by impatience. Misfortunes have their life and their limits, their sickness and their health.
--Montaigne

Our program isn't working. We are misunderstood. Nothing's going well at work. We just can't see it through. Why doesn't someone help us?

Impatience! We become fretful and blame others for our shortcomings.

Impatience! We lose touch with the tempo of life and our own particular rhythm.

Impatience! We are convinced our addiction will never cease tormenting us.

Let's slow down and get back in touch with life's movement. We know that all things have their season and their motion and their end. It may feel like winter now, but spring will come and then summer. Nothing remains static; everything changes and grows. There is a pattern to all life including ours -- if we are patient enough to discern it.

I need to slow down to get in touch with the rhythms of my life and life outside me.



Let's walk!


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6/19/16 9:15 A

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

Freedom is like taking a bath - you have to keep doing it every day!
--Flo Kennedy

Nothing stands still. Change is the law of life. We may sometimes feel that our personal gains have to be won over and over again. But looked at from another perspective, that's not so: our solid personal gains are the ones that no one and nothing can take away from us.

They are tools for continued growth. Jobs, lovers, houses may change, but serenity and freedom of spirit are within our power to achieve - to maintain - or to give away.

Freedom means choice -- our choice of what we do with our bodies, our money, our lives. If we decline to choose, the choice will be made for us. If we don't use or claim our freedom, we are giving it away. Our lives need our active, creative participation every moment.

Like bathing, I must daily exercise my freedom. No one can do it for me.

Let's walk!


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6/19/16 3:54 A

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6/18/16 9:12 A

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

A.A. Thought for the Day

We in A.A. must remember that we are offering something intangible. We are offering a psychological and spiritual program. We are not offering a medical program. If people need medical treatment, we call in a doctor. If they need a medical prescription, we let the doctor prescribe for them. If they need hospital treatment, we let the hospital take care of them. Our vital A.A. work begins when a person is physically able to receive it. Am I willing to leave medical care to the doctors?

Meditation for the Day

Each moment of your day, which you devote to this new way of life, is a gift to God. The gift of the moments. Even when your desire to serve God is sincere, it is not an easy thing to give up many of these moments: the daily things you had planned to do, given up gladly so that you can perform a good service or say a kind word. If you can see God's purpose in many situations, it will be easier to give God many moments of your day. Every situation has two interpretations - your own and God's. Try to handle each situation in the way you believe God would have it handled.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may make my day count somewhat for God. I pray that I may not spend it all selfishly.

Let's walk!


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6/17/16 1:16 P

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6/17/16 8:53 A

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

Regret is an appalling waste of energy, you can't build on it; it's only good for wallowing in.
--Katherine Mansfield

Newcomer

Someone I hoped would be an important part of my life for years to come has left. I'm devastated. I don't know how much of what happened is my fault; I keep thinking, "If only I hadn't said what I said . . . "

Sponsor

Human lives are filled with all kinds of separation. Friends, mates, and family members - the people in our lives are only lent to us. If they accompany us for some part of our journey, we're blessed. We don't get to control or keep them.

Sentences beginning "if only" can go nowhere but straight to regret. They support our false belief that we can control what happens in other people's lives. "I should have," "I could have," and "I would have" are all variations on the same theme. They postpone acceptance and necessary grieving.

At times it's we, ourselves, who do the leaving. We can count it a success, not a failure, when we've had the courage to acknowledge the truth of an ending.

Today, though I may go through some pain as I learn acceptance, I rejoice in the strength and clarity it gives me.

You are reading from the book:

Let's walk!


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6/16/16 10:26 P

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6/16/16 8:49 A

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

Give as much of yourself as you can to as much of your higher power as you can understand.
--S.H.

The more we are in concert with God, the greater will be our pleasures in life. Recognizing our partnership with our higher power makes every decision easier, facilitates the completion of every task, and removes all uncertainty about our value to this world, particularly to those persons around us.

Knowledge that we are never alone, that in every circumstance our best interests are being cared for, softens whatever blow we encounter. The blows teach us; they are the lessons the inner self has requested, and let us never forget we have a ready tutor to see us through every assignment.

The more we rely on God to see us through the mundane activities as well as the troubling experiences, the greater will be our certainty that all is well, our lives are on course, and a plan is unfolding little by little that has our best interests at its center.

My understanding of God and the power of that presence is proportionate to my reliance on that power. Not unlike the power of electricity, I can plug into the source of the "light" of understanding and for the strength to see my way through any experience today.

Let's walk!


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6/16/16 3:21 A

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6/15/16 8:48 A

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

Reflection for the Day

Little by little, I'm getting over my tendency to procrastinate. I always used to put things off until tomorrow, and, of course, they never got done. Instead of "Do it now," my motto was "Tomorrow's another day." I've learned in the Program that it's far better to make a mistake once in a while than to never do anything at all. Am I learning to do it now?

Today I Pray

May God help me cure my habitual tardiness and "get me to the church on time." May I free myself of the self- imposed chaos of life-long procrastination: library books overdue, appointments missed, assignments turned in late, schedules unmet, meals half-cooked. May God give me the serenity I need to restore order and organization to my daily living.

Today I Will Remember

I will not be put off by my tendency to put off.

Let's walk!


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6/15/16 4:38 A

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6/14/16 8:53 A

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

We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and adventure to discover our own special light.
-- Mary Dunbar

All of us are gifted. Every person has a gift that can bring great joy and light to those who encounter it. Our task is to stand in the sun and create a climate that will develop and nurture our gift.

Sometimes we are afraid to let ourselves believe we have anything special to offer or contribute to the world. We think of ourselves as plain and untalented, with no gifts or special potential. But if we believe we are limited, we act in a limited way. We take few risks and follow few paths that might develop our special talents and gifts.

In recovery we are learning to love ourselves and trust ourselves in a whole new way. Now anything is possible. To fully believe in our talents, we need only step from the darkness into the sun. We will take this first step, trust enough, and start believing that, yes, we do have special gifts.

Today let me be aware of my deep and unfilled desires, dreams, and wishes, which is the first step on the way to accepting my gifts.

Let's walk!


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6/14/16 3:59 A

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6/13/16 8:44 A

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

Do not reveal your thoughts to everyone, lest you drive away your good luck.
--Apocrypha, Ecclesiasticus 8:19

We've had problems in our lives with limits. We have done some things to excess and others we have endlessly postponed. Sometimes we haven't had good judgment about what we ought to tell someone or whom we ought to tell. We may have kept secrets that made us lonely and sick. Other times we exposed too much in inappropriate situations and hurt someone else or ourselves. Developing these internal limits is a quiet change that comes with recovery. Gradually, we gain a stronger feeling of self-respect and become more intuitive about when to express something and when not to.

Secrets are links in our chains of bondage to isolation, addiction, and codependency. Yet, when we are compelled to tell everything, we lack the feeling of self-containment that comes from maturity. We need a sense of privacy which is the freedom to choose what and when to confide in a friend. What does our intuition tell us today about our privacy and our openness?

Today, I will listen to my inner messages about what I need to discuss with others and when I need to withhold.

Let's walk!


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6/13/16 3:13 A

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6/12/16 9:10 A

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

When I take another’s needs into consideration and bend, I spiritually stretch.
--Helene Lerner-Robbins

We have been told that this is a selfish program. Perhaps that has given us license to be inconsiderate. However, that isn’t what the founders meant by a selfish program. While it’s true that we must protect our sobriety always, it is never wrong to be kind and considerate toward others. Our kindness to someone else won’t ever make us drink! That’s what we must keep uppermost in our mind.

Along with helping us maintain abstinence, the program helps us develop a spiritual relationship that can change every aspect of our lives. Coming to believe in a Higher Power and turning to that Power for guidance and comfort allow us to experience hope in every situation. We can enhance our spiritual growth by treating others as we want God to treat us.

My spiritual growth can get a boost today if I get my ego out of the way and help someone else feel better.

Let's walk!


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6/12/16 4:35 A

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6/11/16 6:12 P

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

Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bear bad fruit – and man is his own gardener.
--John Leonard

Evil thoughts and destructive attitudes are not forced on us by fate. They are choices we make as we act and react to events in our lives.

Before the Program, when negative things happened, our first reaction was to choose to react negatively: "Life's not fair." "Why did that have to happen to me?" "I hate them for doing that." "I'm going to get even if it's the last thing I do." It is easy to react positively when good things happen. But we have often chosen to react negatively to even good events.

Good can be found in even the worst situations if we look for it. Bankruptcy can provide a fresh start. Defeat can allow rebuilding in a new and better way. Evil teaches us what is good. Death brings new life. Admitting our powerlessness finally gave us the freedom to make choices.

By choosing good thoughts and attitudes, the garden of my soul will thrive. By choosing bad ones, it will shrivel and die.

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6/11/16 6:59 A

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6/10/16 8:36 A

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

I'd like to get away from earth awhile. And then come back to it and begin again.
-- Robert Frost

Do we think it's weak to need a break? Do we ignore the need to recharge our batteries? Responsibility for our own lives requires us to recognize the need to restore our energy. Maybe our former escape from the world was by using food, or drugs, or spending money, or being preoccupied with another person.

Now, since we are developing the ability to be with ourselves, we can take a break from the world and come back restored. This meditation time generates more energy for our lives. Recreation with friends, a walk, a movie, or a concert does the same. Taking responsibility to get away is a good cure for self-pity and exhaustion.

Today, I will be aware of my need to restore my energy.

Let's walk!


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6/10/16 3:56 A

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6/9/16 8:51 A

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

Humility is our acceptance of ourselves.
--Anonymous

It is strange how we can go to school and learn a lot of facts, but never learn much along the way about ourselves. We can take up nursing, teaching, counseling, and giving ourselves to the needs of others, while never having our own needs met.

Why does it seem as if it is easier to solve the problems of the world than to solve our own problems? We simply don't know ourselves very well. When we look into a mirror and attempt to understand ourselves, our conclusions about what we see are usually very different from what a friend sees. When we finally take the time and make ourselves a priority, we make a startling discovery. There exists within us at all times a Higher Power that is the builder of all successes and our comforter during times of trial.

I understand myself only in relation to my Higher Power. The image I see and the identity I have is then one of humility before that Power. Humility is my acceptance of myself.

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6/8/16 8:43 A

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

One step at a time may seem too slow some days.
--Kay Marie Porterfield

Impatience is certainly not a virtue. However, we frequently display it as though it were; if we don't get some task done right now, we will have failed for all time. How many backfired circumstances must we have before we get the message?

When we came into this recovery program, we may have heard that there would always be enough time to accomplish what God intends us to do. Those of us who looked back at failed attempts doubted the truth of this wisdom. But we are coming to believe it now. In time, all the simple messages seem to come true.

The slogans are excellent examples of this. "One day at a time, one step at a time." Will never fail us. We will handle whatever comes to us if we follow that advice.

I will accomplish what I need to today, on time, if I let my Higher Power be in charge.

Let's walk!


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6/8/16 4:47 A

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6/7/16 8:47 A

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

Over and over, we begin again.
--Banana Yoshimoto

Newcomer

Yesterday was such a difficult day. But here it is, morning again somehow. I've gotten through another 24 hours, and without a drug. I wish I'd known yesterday that things wouldn't feel so bad this morning.

Sponsor

Yesterday, we did the best that we could. Yesterday is over. We have slept. We think we know some of what today will hold. We may boil water in the same kitchen, take the same route to work, see some of the faces we usually see. At the meeting we attend, we'll hear the familiar readings; take comfort from hearing the words we've heard before. Perhaps our shoulders, hunched with any tensions we're experiencing, will drop at the sound of those accustomed words, and we'll relax.

Along with the predictable, there may be a thousand unexpected experiences; a new color in the sky, a smile answering our own, a phrase of music, a sense of willingness rising within us to do something differently.

Let's take some deep, slow breaths and begin the day with faith that whatever it brings, we'll be present for it.

This day is a gift that recovery has given to me.

Let's walk!


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6/7/16 4:55 A

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6/6/16 8:51 A

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

I walked across an open field at winter's break as the sun danced on the last few drifts. I imagined my fears would melt one by one as I learned to love myself.
--Laurel Lewis

Fear is as familiar as our image in a mirror. Although we have resolved many of the fears that bound us to old behavior, our original fears may have been replaced by new ones. Why are there so many things to be afraid of? New friends, old relationships, careers, family history, tomorrow...

Acknowledging our fear is the first step to getting free of its control. Naming the fear puts us in charge. Remembering that we have a loving Higher Power who won't abandon us, even in the midst of our deepest fear, can help us get through too.

But loving our small, scared selves will be the most nurturing of all. Mothering ourselves, in the way we may have longed for mothering in our youth, will carry us through the most difficult times.

Fears are part of living. They are neither bad nor good; instead, they can teach us. They can help us learn to love more of ourselves.

I will welcome my fears today. They are my blueprint for who I am. God and I will comfort me with love.

Let's walk!


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6/5/16 10:28 P

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6/5/16 1:18 P

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Thank you for today's message, very timely

Commit your actions to the Lord and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 10:3


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6/5/16 9:41 A

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

Day is short as ever; time's as long as it has been.
-- Geechee Proverb

Newcomer

A change in my work schedule means I can't go to my regular meeting anymore. By the time I'd be able to get there, only half an hour would be left. It's not worth it.

Sponsor

Once, when I was visiting another city, a friend and I drove all over in the rain looking for a meeting we'd heard about. We were in unfamiliar territory and finding the street address took us over an hour. We talked, meanwhile, about our lives and our recovery; it was good sharing. At last we parked and found the meeting place. We realized that we'd walked in at the end, just as everyone was joining hands. We looked at one another and laughed, joined the circle, and said the Serenity Prayer with a roomful of recovering strangers. They seemed happy to let us join in. We'd all stayed sober for another day.

Yes, it's important to go to whole meetings; whole meetings are essential to recovery. But if, under special circumstances, the only meeting we can get to is part of a meeting, we do it. Skipping meetings where we can connect with other recovering people, especially those who've begun to get to know us, can compound feelings of isolation. It spells danger for our recovery.

In this day of recovery, whatever I do, I do with all my attention.

Let's walk!


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6/4/16 6:28 P

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6/4/16 9:09 A

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

Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace during a storm.
--Anonymous

We learn in our recovery that life has a way of recreating itself. This discovery is one we are taught not to fight. We remember how badly we hurt when things would pass away from us, whether it was a lost doll, a lost dog, or a lost dad. We closed ourselves off from the possibility that anything of value could come from the loss. Yet the doll was replaced, a cat came into our lives, and a father figure emerged.

The key to staying on our Program is to remember that life does recreate itself. There will be many moments when we find ourselves squarely in the middle of a passing away. We will be hurt and wonder how we can go on.

Not to worry, this too shall pass. This cold winter of a moment will break soon into a sunny spring of a future.

There can be no comings if there are no goings. Life can't be recreated if there is no passing away. I need to remember that sometimes it is darkest before daybreak.

Let's walk!


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6/3/16 1:30 P

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

Looking in the Mirror

When we look in the mirror, who is looking back? Is it someone we like or someone we have grown to dislike? Is it someone weak and defective because of illness? Or is it someone good and decent in spite of it?

Ideally we see ourselves for who we are – with strengths and shortcomings, with abilities and limitations. Ideally, we see someone who has grown to accept and love him- or herself [illness and all].

When I look in the mirror today, who do I see looking back?

Thought for the Day

Accepting my limitations is a sign of health.

Let's walk!


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6/2/16 12:28 P

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

It is a cheap generosity which promises the future in compensation for the present.
--J. A. Spender

Living in this moment is all we really have. We are constantly bombarded with advice to live for the future, but it perpetually exists beyond our grasp like the carrot tempting the donkey. We are told to be mindful of our career paths, to save for the future, and to sacrifice now for later rewards. We put off spending time with our children, but later they are no longer the same children. We postpone seeing friends now and discover later we have lost our relationships.

Of course, we can't be foolish about our future. We need to make some plans and delay some immediate pleasures. But for now, we can only have a rapport with ourselves and others and experience life in this moment. The present is the only time when anything can happen, any change can occur. This moment is like a fresh, cool breeze. The rest exists only in our imaginations or memories.

May I feel the exhilaration of being alive in this moment and maintain a balance in my perspective today.

Let's walk!


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6/2/16 3:59 A

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6/1/16 8:48 A

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

Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
--Step Six of Alcoholics Anonymous

Readiness is the key to all-important passages in life. Until we're ready to know something, the mystery is not revealed. Until we're ready to do something, the power is not mobilized. Until we're ready to receive a gift, even if we trip over it, that gift will not be ours. It may not even be recognized as a gift.

The Sixth Step talks about our readiness to have the obstacles to our happiness removed. These obstacles are our character defects. Until we're ready to let them go - boxed up, on the porch, waiting for pickup, so to speak - they will be left with us. It's that simple.

The Sixth Step is also very specific about who will take them away. For all our intelligence and willpower, we're not the ones who do the removing. When we're ready to admit the power of God into our lives, and only then, we will be ready for freedom.

The experience of my fellows has empowered me to have faith in renewal.

Let's walk!


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6/1/16 3:23 A

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5/31/16 10:47 A

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

To assume what other people are thinking or feeling without asking them is to invite misunderstanding. Just as disastrous is to assume other people know what we want or need without our telling them. Many potentially good friendships and marriages perish because of our false assumptions and our lack of honest communication.

Do we assume others can't live without us or wouldn't know what to think or feel unless we told them? Do we take for granted that "silence means assent"? Do we assume others don't have time for us, or don't care about us, if they don't call or go out of their way to talk to us? Do we think others can read our minds without our ever opening our mouths?

Since we can only assume the same limited or distorted thoughts of others that we have of ourselves, we each need to take the initiative to ask probing questions and give honest responses in our relationships.

TODAY I will not make the mistake of projecting my feelings onto others. I will initiate honest and open communication.

Let's walk!


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5/31/16 10:46 A

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

I have learned this: it is not what one does that is wrong, but what one becomes as a consequence of it.
--Oscar Wilde

There are countless ways to take shortcuts in life or to grab for pleasures. We could cheat on our income taxes, excuse a food binge, or lie to a loved one about where we've been. We say, "It won't hurt anyone!" "I wouldn't do it if it weren't for the other guy." Or, "Everyone does it." But if we are to like and respect ourselves, we need to live by the rules we believe in. Whether we get caught or not isn't the point. We cannot hold values and then repeatedly justify breaking them.

What does it do to us if we constantly fudge on our values? It undermines our self-esteem and damages the faith we have in ourselves. We do not expect to be perfect, but we must be accountable. If we are honest with ourselves, we admit our wrongs and reestablish our self-respect.

Today, I will take care to make choices that match my values.

Let's walk!


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5/29/16 11:43 P

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5/29/16 9:30 A

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

Things happen

A healthy friend dies participating in a sport she loves. A husband works hard on his marriage only to come home one day and find his wife in bed with another man.

A knock at the door, and a starving family opens it to find bags of groceries piled anonymously on the porch. A large order comes in just as a company is getting ready to close its doors, and the owner's dream is given new life.

Sometimes life twists. Sometimes it goes the other way, too. Things happen. Sometimes we label these events good, sometimes bad. We cannot always see the reason or purpose in them, but most of us choose to believe there's a Divine plan.

I don't know why I've received some of the blessings I've been given; I don't know why some of the sorrow has come my way. All I can do is trust that whatever comes my way, there's a lesson at hand.

Are you focusing on the circumstances of your life instead of the lessons? The circumstances are the tools. Be involved in them. Feel the pain of loss and the elation of victory. Let compassion work its way into your soul. Learn caring and kindness for others and yourself, too.

Instead of asking why, learn to ask what the lesson is. The moment you become ready to accept it, the lesson will become clear.

God, help me accept all the twists and turns along my path. Help me learn to say whatever to the good and the unfortunate incidents that come my way.

Let's walk!


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5/28/16 10:21 A

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

The important thing is not to stop questioning.
--Albert Einstein

We used to think we knew it all. We had grandiose ideas about ourselves. We stopped asking hard questions that could cause our fragile world of make-believe and deviousness to come crashing down. We protected our addiction by fleeing from the questions that could have started us on the road to recovery.

One day the questions flooded in unchecked. Why am I out of control? How come I can't look my beloved in the eye? Why don't I have time for my friends? Why do I get irritated with my children? Why do I feel so bad about myself, so filled with shame? Why can't I cope? Why is my life unmanageable?

Unmanageable? When we feel this question deeply, then we are already on the road to recovery, for we know we can't continue to go it alone. The question suggests an answer; we need others, a different system of support, a program of recovery, a Higher Power, serenity, love.

This is what we really wanted and needed, and this is what we find in our Twelve Step program.

Learning to be honest means continuing to ask questions about ourselves and our situation in the world.

Let's walk!


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5/28/16 3:57 A

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5/27/16 8:36 A

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

This is a “we” program.
--Saying heard at meetings

Newcomer
Why must I have a sponsor? Can’t I do this on my own?

Sponsor
Sponsorship is a strong suggestion – not a rule. Yes, some people do stay in recovery without a sponsor. And no, we can’t recover on our own.

There are great advantages to taking the program suggestion to maintain a relationship with a sponsor. Recovery is a major change – it's one of the most difficult, most courageous things we can do in our lives. A sponsor, someone who's survived the ups and downs we’re facing in early recovery, can serve as a guide and mentor. He or she can answer our questions and help us through the Steps, giving us the benefit of his or her experience. With a sponsor present to witness our recovery process, to offer perspective and support, we may have a gentler ride.

When I was active in my addiction, I avoided the intimacy of relationships in which I might have to open myself to others or trust them. Even at times when there were many people in my life, I managed to avoid "people situations" that made me uncomfortable. A sponsor-sponsee relationship can be the start of learning that human beings can depend on one another.

Today, I'm not alone in recovery.

Let's walk!


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5/26/16 8:47 A

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

My thoughts guide my day. Noticing how I awake can help me save the day.
-- Kelley Vickstrom

We may envy friends who seem happy and peaceful. Why aren't they troubled as we so often are? The fact is, we can take actions to become more content too. One of the simplest is to ask our Higher Power for a positive attitude before we even throw back the bed covers.

Being in charge of what we dwell on is easier than we might imagine. We can practice the art of focusing our minds on the positive. Begin by stopping a thought, any thought, in mid-sentence. Focus on a blessing that is obvious today. Anytime an unhealthy thought surfaces, drop it, and replace it with a blessing. This can become a way of life if we make the choice.

We have felt enough pain and experienced enough harm. Today can be much better. And it will be if we carefully select our thoughts.

I am as happy as I truly want to be today. No one can steal peacefulness from me if that's what I really want.

Let's walk!


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5/25/16 4:54 P

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5/25/16 8:47 A

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

Yesterday is gone; forget it. Tomorrow never comes; don't worry. Today is here; get busy.

*****

Willpower; our willingness to use a higher power.

*****

Recovery is a journey, not a destination. May your journey be long.

*****

The program is education without graduation.

*****

God can't give you anything new until you let go of the old.

*****

Remember, we were all born to be happy, joyous and free.

Let's walk!


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5/24/16 10:54 A

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5/24/16 8:45 A

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

I walked out the bakery door holding my crescent and coffee. I looked down. On the sidewalk lay a large dog. He was on his back, motionless. A crowd of people was gathering around and staring.

"Oh my God," I said. A man walked up to me. "What's the matter?" he asked. "Haven't you ever seen a dead dog before?"

I was horrified. Then I saw the glimmer of a smile on the man's face. I looked more closely. This is Los Angeles. Even dogs want to be actors. He had told the dog to play dead instead of sit while he was in the bakery. I chuckled and then walked to my car.

I first learned about the value of laughter the year after I got out of treatment. I began working for a law firm in a small town. I was so frightened - of life, of myself, of whether I could stay sober. I was all bound up inside of myself. I worked alongside a woman in her later twenties, a paralegal in the firm. Often our tasks consisted of rather repetitive, unexciting chores. This was in the old days, before computers. Wills had to be typed perfectly; we couldn't use correction fluid or erasers. It wasn't uncommon to get to the last line of the page and make a mistake.

What I remember most about working with this woman was her ability to laugh at herself, at her tasks, at the sometimes gruesome and boring nature of life. To this day, I don't think she knows how much she affected me and how much she taught me. She taught me to laugh.

Laughter takes the pressure off and lightens the load. We can actually feel our body and our chemistry change when the corners of the mouth turn upward toward the heavens in a smile.

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5/24/16 5:45 A

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5/23/16 11:13 A

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

Be aware of yourself and validate your experience. Pay attention to your world, to what's happening, and why. . . . Feel your strength. Value it, and use it.
--Alexandra G. Kaplan

To truly exist in the here and now, we need to feel ourselves in the present. We need to enter each moment without the excess baggage of the past, nor the anticipation of the future.

How do we think or feel in the present? Take away thoughts of other times and we may feel lost and confused. It takes time to learn to live in the present and to trust it. We need to learn that, for as long as we're in the present, we exist. We are.

Imagine the moment as a brand new car. All we need to do is open the door, hop in, and drive away. For that moment, our thoughts will not be focused on cars we used to own or on those we're going to buy in the future. Instead, for that moment, we are in the here and now. That's how each of our moments can be: fresh and clean and exciting.

I can sit in the driver's seat and experience each moment as it occurs. Therein lies my strength.

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5/22/16 9:27 A

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

The Dark Side

Have you ever gone outside at night and looked closely at the new moon? Or looked through a telescope at the moon when it was crescent shaped? Although what we see is a bright slice, we know there's more. Even when the moon is full and lights the night sky, there's a dark side to the moon.

There's a dark side to us too. We all experience jealousy, envy, bitterness, resentment. How about neediness? Ugh. Who wants to shine a light on that?

What about all those fears? Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of intimacy, fear of going broke, fear of the unknown, fear of growing old, fear of being alone, fear of being with someone, fear of losing control.

Then there are other parts of us that we would prefer to keep darkened and out of sight, parts such as greed, dishonesty, intolerance, disgust, hatred. Although some people have no problem showing anger, others of us prefer to keep that out of sight too. And what about our manipulative part? Who wants anyone to see that?

Some of us may even consider the dark side of ourselves forbidden. We may refuse to acknowledge it exists because we believe it's wrong. Not acknowledging our dark side doesn't wish it out of existence, any more than not seeing the dark side of the moon makes it disappear.

Most sane people agree that they don't want to be controlled by their dark side. We don't want parts of ourselves - jealousy, neediness, and greed - to control our behaviors. But when we don't acknowledge these emotions and traits, they can gain control. The more we try to repress something, the more it fights for its life.

Don't be afraid. Shine a light on that dark part. At least look at it briefly. Acknowledge it's there. Take some of the pressure off. Let yourself be well rounded, instead of one-dimensional. We don't just have a light side, a bright side. Nobody is always loving, always kind, always generous, and always thoughtful.

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5/21/16 9:09 A

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

Vulnerable Honesty

There's a fine line between being vulnerably honest and just being honest. Has a friend ever called early in the morning, right when you were waking up? Can you remember how you talked then, before your defenses were up?

When we're vulnerably honest, our defenses are down. We're gentler, kinder, more open about ourselves. When people preface whatever they're going to say with "I'm just being honest," they're usually going to tell us what they think. Vulnerability doesn't need a preface or an introduction. It comes from the heart, and it speaks for itself.

A man was complaining about something I'd said in one of my books. "Don't you know people will read that and interpret it as encouragement to do anything they want, maybe have an affair and cheat on their husband?" he said. "Or if they're recovering, they'll think it's okay to get high again?"

I started to respond by being defensive. Then I took a deep breath and went into my heart. I explained that was never my intention. I wondered whether he had possibly misinterpreted it? Then I took an even deeper breath and took a chance. "Are you in a lot of pain?" I asked.

It didn't take him long to respond. "Yes, I am in pain. Thank you for asking," he said. "I just discovered my wife had an affair, and I don't know what to do."

When we get those defenses down and come from the heart, it doesn't just help us. It helps other people open up too.

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5/20/16 8:49 A

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

Letting Go of Worry

What if we knew for certain that everything we're worried about today will work out fine?

What if . . . we had a guarantee that the problem bothering us would be worked out in the most perfect way, and at the best possible time? Furthermore, what if we knew that three years from now we'd be grateful for that problem, and its solution?

What if . . . we knew that even our worst fear would work out for the best?

What if . . . we had a guarantee that everything that's happening, and has happened, in our life was meant to be, planned just for us, and in our best interest?

What if . . . we had a guarantee that the people we love are experiencing exactly what they need in order to become who they're intended to become? Further, what if we had a guarantee that others can be responsible for themselves, and we don't have to control or take responsibility for them?

What if . . . we knew the future was going to be good, and we would have an abundance of resources and guidance to handle whatever comes our way?

What if . . . we knew everything was okay, and we didn't have to worry about a thing? What would we do then?

We'd be free to let go and enjoy life.

Today, I will know that I don't have to worry about anything. If I do worry, I will do it with the understanding that I am choosing to worry, and it is not necessary.

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5/19/16 1:50 P

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

Don't sweat the small stuff, and remember, it's all small stuff.

*****

Drinking didn't cause my problems, living did.

*****

The practicing alcoholic is the only person in the world who can lie in the gutter and still look down on others.

*****

AA meetings are the jumper cables God uses to get love flowing from one alcoholic to another.

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5/18/16 11:50 P

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

Trust that good will come.

It was a slow, boring January day. We had just moved in to our new home. Construction wasn't complete. The house was a mess. All we had was a plan and a dream. There wasn't any furniture yet. We were lying around on the floor. It was too cold and rainy to be outdoors.

I don't know who got the idea first, my son or me. But we both picked up Magic Markers about the same time. Then we started drawing on the wall.

"What do you want to happen in your life?" I asked. He drew pictures of seaplanes, and mountains, and boats leaving the shore. One picture was of a video cameraman jumping out of a plane. "I want adventure," he said.

I drew pictures of a woman tromping around the world. She went to war-torn countries. She visited the mountains and the oceans and many exciting places. Then I drew a heart around the entire picture, and she sat there in the middle of all the experiences on a big stack of books. "I want stories," I said, "ones with a lot of heart."

Across the entire picture, in big letters, he wrote the word "Woohoo!" On the bottom of the wall I wrote, "The future is only limited by what we can see now." He grabbed a marker, crossed out only, and changed it to never. "There," he said, "it's done."

Thank God, the future is never limited by what we can see right now.

Before we start speaking the language of letting go, we need to understand what a powerful behavior letting go and letting God really is.

God, help me do my part. Then help me let go and let You do yours.

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5/17/16 8:37 A

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

Learning to trust is one of life's most difficult tasks.
-- Isaac Watts

We marry for better or for worse, we expect some ups and downs, but once we feel we've been betrayed, we are lost.

If we've been lied to so many times we can no longer think straight, if we've been fooled into thinking we are at fault for an impossible financial situation because we don't work, don't earn enough, or because we spend too much, or if we've been manipulated into believing that by co-signing a loan all our problems would disappear, we've been betrayed. The person we thought we were supposed to trust and to turn to for emotional support is not being trustworthy or supportive.

Getting through betrayal is a long process, one that both parties must be willing to commit to in the most profound way. If one party is unwilling to be consistently trustworthy and the other is unwilling to forgive, the cracked foundation only crumbles further.

Today I will understand that trust is a core component of any successful relationship, and I will know that I deserve a trustworthy partner.

Let's walk!


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5/16/16 8:48 A

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

I don't do what I do just so people will think kindly of me. I like doing what I do.
--Janice Clark

We're lucky if we like everything that we do. But many of us have to develop a willingness to like many of the activities we're involved in. Is that unusual? Probably not. Nor does it matter. Acting as if we enjoy a menial task or an unusual pursuit offers us a different perspective on it. Just looking at it through more willing eyes changes not just how we see it, but how we feel about it. Often we discover that we can enjoy that which we dreaded before.

Because we wanted to be liked, and it's human nature to want that, we often volunteered for committees, for jobs, for assignments of all kinds that we didn't want to do. There's no shame in that. But at long last, we can dare to be more selective about what we'll do.

We are needed. That's why we're still alive. And while not everybody likes us, those currently in our circle of acquaintances need us and we need them. The work that is yet to be done relies on all of us. Pitching in begins to feel good when we have the right attitude.

I don't have to like everything I need to do today, but I'll feel more open to all the tasks if I remember they need my input.

Let's walk!


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5/15/16 9:02 A

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

Speak when you're angry and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret.
--Lawrence J. Peter

When we used alcohol or other drugs, most of us were hotheads. We thought we were right. If we were proven wrong, we may have made life hell for everyone. People knew enough to stay away from us.

In recovery, things will still go badly at times. We'll get hurt. And we'll get angry. But now, our anger no longer controls us. We also turn over our anger to our Higher Power. In our groups, we talk about what makes us angry. Then we leave the anger behind when the meeting is over. We find that being at peace is now more important than getting even.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, when I'm angry, help me slow down. Help me remember it's okay to be angry, but it's not okay to abuse people.

Action for the Day

I will remember a time when I turned anger into rage and hurt someone. I will also remember a time I was angry in a respectful way.


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5/14/16 8:49 A

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

Some people grumble because the roses have thorns instead of being grateful that the thorns have roses.

*****

We must learn from the mistakes of others because we won't live long enough to make them all ourselves.

*****

Don't look down on another person unless you are leaning over to help them up.

*****

What a different world this would be if people would magnify their blessings the way they do their troubles.

*****

The largest room in the world is the room for improvement.

*****

Winners - people who tell you what they did and not people who tell you what they think you ought to do.

Let's walk!


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5/13/16 8:50 A

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

When the well threatens to run dry, it's time to rest and refill.

We can't always be doing and giving and producing. There comes a time when we run out of steam, and that's when we need to know how to replenish our supply of energy and enthusiasm.

Some of us get recharged by being with other people. Some of us need to be quiet and alone. All of us can profit from an inspirational uplift, whether it comes from music, something we read, a conversation with a friend, savoring the beauty of nature, or a period of meditation.

Vacations can be wonderful, but we're not always able to take them when we need them. What we can do is learn how to create for ourselves islands of recreation -- re-creation -- which may be inserted into our busy, everyday schedule. We can learn to stop and refill the well before it runs dry, so we do not drive ourselves into the kind of exhaustion that threatens recovery.

I will build an island of re-creation into today's schedule.

Let's walk!


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5/12/16 10:32 P

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5/12/16 8:38 A

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

The goal isn't to do a successful inventory. The goal is to dig to the deepest levels of self-honesty.
--Anonymous

The Fourth Step is the hardest one for many newcomers in the Program. It is so difficult, in fact, that some of us still waiting to do it are no longer newcomers.

It's so hard to be honest with ourselves, that some of us never accomplish it. The consequence of this is low self-esteem, which draws us toward failure.

Help is available, though. God, who knows all about us, is willing to help us get honest with ourselves. We only need to ask. Until we become honest with ourselves, we can't grow spiritually.

Today I pledge to be honest.

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5/12/16 3:34 A

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5/11/16 8:47 A

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

I took the portion that was given to me and gave it to him.
--The Babylonian Talmud

Newcomer

Are there any rules about how to find a sponsor?

Sponsor

Some meetings have interim sponsorship programs. An interim sponsor works with a newcomer temporarily - a few weeks to a few months - while he or she looks for a regular tong-term sponsor. Sometimes, an interim sponsor becomes the newcomer's regular sponsor, if they both agree to it.

Long-term sponsorship is a relationship of trust, one that's likely to have a significant impact on the process of recovery. It's not a good idea to choose impulsively. When we attend meetings, we listen closely as people qualify or share. We'll hear people who have the serenity and sober experience we ourselves want. If we hear someone we think we'd like to ask to be our sponsor, we try phoning or going out for coffee with him or her first. We soon know whether or not we have the willingness to share and to listen. We sense whether this is someone whose guidance we can trust.

Sponsors should have a minimum of one year of recovery. It's suggested that a sponsor's gender not be that of his or her sponsee's sexual preference, for example, a heterosexual woman generally shouldn't choose a heterosexual male sponsor. It's a suggestion, not a rule, meant to keep the way clear, so that the sponsors and sponsees don't get distracted from their goal. The goal is continued, quality recovery - for both the sponsor and the sponsee.

Today, I welcome a sponsor-sponsee relationship that encourages and supports my recovery.

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5/10/16 10:42 A

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

Go with the flow

Let go of fear and your need to control. Relinquish anxiety. Let it slip away, as you dive into the river of the present moment, the river of your life, your place in the universe.

Stop trying to force the direction. Try not to swim against the current, unless it is necessary for your survival. If you've been clinging to a branch at the riverside, let go.

Let yourself move forward. Let yourself be moved forward.

Avoid the rapids when possible. If you can't, stay relaxed. Staying relaxed can take you safely through fierce currents. If you go under for a moment, allow yourself to surface naturally. You will.

Appreciate the beauty of the scenery as it is. See things with freshness, with newness. You shall never pass by today's scenery again!

Don't think too hard about things. The flow is meant to be experienced. Within it, care for yourself. You are part of the flow, an important part. Work with the flow. Work within the flow. Thrashing about isn't necessary. Let the flow help you care for yourself. Let it help you set boundaries, make decisions, and get you where you need to be when it is time. You can trust the flow, and your part in it.

Today, I will go with the flow.

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5/10/16 3:51 A

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5/9/16 10:42 A

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

Ordinary moments

Saving a time for quiet appreciation...

An aesthetic life, in the broad sense, is a spiritual life. Couples can strengthen their partnership and enrich their lives by making aesthetic experiences daily events. Saving time for quiet appreciation of the good things in our lives - communicating with each other and with friends, playing and relaxing, reading to children, cooking and eating tasty, nourishing food - these are some ways to bring beauty into each day. We can also put attractive pictures and interesting things in our home to make it a place that comforts and pleases us; we can read interesting books, notice a striped caterpillar on a milkweed or the splash of stars in the night sky, relish the sensuous pleasure of a warm soapy bath, see a good movie, listen to music, grow plants.

We live spiritually when we make a place for beauty and when we slow down to enjoy the beauty that already surrounds us. We may wonder what good that may do us. The answer is that these spiritual gestures add meaning to all the other parts of our lives.

Take a few minutes now to appreciate something beautiful. Make a plan to bring some beauty into this day.

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5/8/16 11:32 P

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5/8/16 9:16 A

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

There is guidance for each of us, and by lowly listening, we shall hear the right word.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Perhaps it was only yesterday or the day before that we doubted our value to society, or to our family or friends. We often lose our direction. That's normal and consistent with the human condition. However, the length of time we spend floundering, uncertain of ourselves, is proportionate to the time it takes us to acknowledge the guide within. We need not be lost or full of doubt for long.

Going within ourselves may not be a spontaneous reaction for many of us, but we can learn to respond in this way. And when we're open to the inner urging and willing to follow it, we'll discover the benefits. All that's asked of us is the decision to listen.

I can quiet my thoughts today, long enough to sense the necessary direction to take. I can be certain the guidance is right.

Let's walk!


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5/7/16 9:12 A

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

He who knows himself, knows others.
--Charles C. Colton

There are many gifts that can come from disappointments if we are open to them.

One such gift is the ability to help others. Having felt anger, guilt, and sorrow, we are better able to identify the same feelings in others. We can be more tolerant of others and have compassion for those with similar hurts. And, if we overcome the pain of our own disappointments, we can share the attitudes and actions that helped us grow from those hurts.

Another gift is forgiveness. When we do not deny our pain - and make a concerted effort to work through our feelings of anger, rejection, and guilt - we gain a better perspective of ourselves and a better understanding of others. We become aware of our deepest desires and needs, our deepest insecurities and fears, our weaknesses and our strengths. When we can accept and understand our imperfect natures, we can accept the imperfections and growing pains of others.

Today I will use my disappointments as gifts to better understand myself as well as others. I will try to help others overcome their hurts by sharing my struggles and victories with them.

Let's walk!


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5/7/16 3:34 A

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5/6/16 11:04 A

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

Always think of what you have to do as easy and it will become so.
--Emile Corie

How we think about the activities before us is very important. If we think cleaning the garage is hard, dirty, and no chance for fun, that's just how it will feel. We'll be tired before we even begin. However, if we approach it like a treasure hunt, expecting to rediscover some long-forgotten treasures, we'll enjoy the task. In fact, it will feel like a game.

The thoughts we carry in our minds determine whether our tasks are fun or not. What good fortune it is that we can control those thoughts. If we approach an assignment for school or a job believing that we're able to do it, that it's not too hard for us, we'll finish with ease. Our thoughts determine our successes. In this way, our lives are in our own hands.

How much better can I make my life today?

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5/5/16 3:18 P

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

To be alive is power,
Existing in itself,
Without a further function,
Omnipotence enough.
--Emily Dickinson

Being a person in this world is an amazing gift. A spiritual awakening promised by this program is open to us. But today, not all of us feel powerful and alive. We may feel weak, inadequate to our task, perplexed, or stymied. Is this a day in which we are filled with exuberance for the gift of life? Or is this a day when we're feeling subdued by life's burdens?

Perhaps we need to evaluate our perspective. Are we trying to control something or someone? Are we acting as if the world should be as we want rather than as it is? Have our individual wills exceeded their natural bounds and spoiled the simple joy of being "without a further function"?

May I find the pleasure and exuberance today that come with being alive. The simple power to be a person is "omnipotence enough."

Let's walk!


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5/4/16 1:48 P

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5/4/16 11:33 A

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

A.A. Thought for the Day

Strength comes from the fellowship we find when we come into AA. Just being with people who have found the way out gives us a feeling of security. We listen to the speakers and we absorb the atmosphere of confidence and hope that we find in the place. Am I receiving strength from the fellowship with other AA members?

Meditation for the Day

God is with me, to bless and help me. His spirit is all around me. All power is God's. I say that to myself often and steadily. I say that until my heart sings with joy for the safety and personal power that it means to me.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that with strength from God I may lead an abundant life.

Let's walk!


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AJDOVER1's Photo AJDOVER1 SparkPoints: (359,790)
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5/3/16 11:41 A

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

Returning to Basics

Now and then, an AA discussion focuses on the theme of "returning to the basics." This is a good time to shake out the excessive concerns that might be cluttering up our lives.

No matter how long we've been living in sobriety, we can never afford to dismiss the basic reasons we came to AA in the first place. We had made a mess of our lives, and no human power could relieve our alcoholism. By accepting and admitting this, we were able to find a new way of life.

This was also our admission ticket to the larger society, where people are concerned about many things. We sometimes become too caught up in all these concerns, even to the extent of forgetting our own needs. It's good, occasionally, to focus a meeting on AA basics. They are as essential today as they were when we first knew that we needed them.

I'll remind myself today that the basics give me a firm foundation on which to stand.

Let's walk!


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5/2/16 1:29 P

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Co-leader Frozen Northerners


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AJDOVER1's Photo AJDOVER1 SparkPoints: (359,790)
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5/2/16 8:47 A

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

The miracle is this - the more we share, the more we have.
--Leonard Nimoy

Look around you at the happiest people you know. They are also the most generous and giving people. A generous spirit creates its own environment. In recovery we talk a lot about gratitude - and we have a lot to be grateful for. This feeling of gratitude inspires us to be generous toward others in many different ways. Most sharing is not of material things but a sharing of our spirit, our forgiveness, and our respect for others.

We can cultivate a generous spirit by reminding ourselves that we have enough. We have enough to live well, we are surrounded by love, we have been forgiven for many wrongs that we committed, and life is filled with interesting adventure. When we share from this sense of abundance, our feeling of well-being only grows.

Today I will be generous and sharing toward the other people I come into contact with.

Let's walk!


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