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8/31/16 8:45 A

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

Sharing feelings

Many of us just did what other people did. We took drugs. But we felt so different from "normal" people. Why? Because of the way we did drugs and because drugs were so unfulfilling for us. It's a joke among us recovering addicts that we tried so hard to look normal.

Non-addicts didn't know our torment, didn't know that we lived in another world. While high, we felt moments of euphoria and false well being. When the drugs wore off, we suffered centuries of misery. Both are feelings that "normal" people did not experience.

In the fellowship, however, we share all our feelings because we know that we are among friends, we know that we are finally home.

Do I share my true feelings with others?

Higher Power, I pray for the willingness to see my true feelings more clearly and to share myself with my fellow addicts.

Let's walk!


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8/30/16 8:44 A

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

My relationship with nature and plants is almost like religion with me.
--Monty Cralley

Feeling connected to something outside of ourselves is important to our perception of life. And being alive assures us of many new situations. Maybe it's a move to a smaller residence or our recovery from the death of a dear friend. Having to give up cherished possessions is a decision we all have to make at some point, too. But handling any of these circumstances is easier when we have a connection to the world around us; nature, for example, can always provide us with a sense of solace and familiarity.

The natural world comforts many of us. Just noting the cycle of life in the trees and plants helps us to remember that everything changes. Everything is transformed, but life and beauty are still present if we look for it. When we're feeling lonely, it helps to remember that God is still present and evident in the miracle of the natural world.

It doesn't matter how we define God or if we do at all. God may speak to us through the swaying tree branches or through people. Or we may get a glimmer of God in a passage in a book. That we do sense something larger and external to ourselves is what matters at the end of the day.

I will continue nurturing my spiritual side today.

This will comfort me.



Let's walk!


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8/29/16 8:26 A

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

Man can live his truth, his deepest truth, but cannot speak it.
--Archibald. MacLeish

Many of us have lived double lives. There were public selves whom others knew, and private selves whom no one met. It was a compulsive world, and both sides were false. Many of us grew up in addicted families and learned this double life early by hiding from outsiders what life was really like at home.

In this program we learn to live our truth before we can speak it. It is more in our actions than in what we say. We may never know the words for this truth because we do not consciously invent it. It comes to us quietly over time and slowly merges all our parts. Gradually we begin to feel whole again as we surrender our double lives for single, truthful ones.

Let me have the trust to give myself to the work of recovery and follow it where it takes me.

Let's walk!


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8/29/16 5:53 A

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8/28/16 9:05 A

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

Grief and crisis
. . . accept it as a wise teacher.

A couple has a child whom they would go to great lengths to protect, yet the child falls ill and lies near death. A woman devotes years to a career; then the economy shifts, leaving her unemployed. Addiction diverts a man from his path, and he loses everything he cares about. Life brings trial and defeat as part of its package. We would never choose defeat and we cannot avoid its pain, but we can accept it as a wise teacher. Out of defeat is born new strength.

We need wisdom to deal with defeat and grief. We will face them together more than once. The false comforts of self-pity and blame may tempt us in our pain, but they take much more from us than they give back. Through crisis we see clearly what truly counts in our lives, and we are better prepared to relish the pleasures when they arrive.

Let's walk!


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8/27/16 9:28 A

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

Anything forced into manifestation through personal will is always "ill got" and has "ever bad success."
--Florence Scovel Shinn

The main thrust of our recovery is to attune ourselves to God's will, struggling no longer to impose our own. The pain we've endured in past years was often of our own making. We controlled situations until we managed to force the outcome we desired, only to realize it didn't offer happiness. It was, instead, a bitter ending to the struggle.

When we want something or someone to play by our rules, we can expect barriers. And when the barriers don't give way with a gentle push, we should consider it a clue that we are off course. When we want what God wants for us, the barriers, if any, will fall away.

What God wants for us at every moment is growth and happiness. When we step away from our ego and develop a selfless posture toward life, we'll find serenity in the midst of any turmoil. Serenity is God's promise. When we get in line with God's will, we'll find peace.

I will know God's will if I will listen to my inner voice. I will do what feels right, and peace will be my reward.

Let's walk!


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8/26/16 1:51 P

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8/26/16 8:29 A

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

Letting go

If addiction is about control, recovery is about letting go. If addiction is about denial, recovery is about accepting what is.

As we spend time in the program, we learn something unexpected and amazing. Life is so full of twists and turns, it's easier to follow along than to try to straighten them out. It's easier to have fewer expectations because, after all, we have no control over the future or the present.

Can I practice letting go?

Higher Power, help me to be open, flexible, and accepting in my recovery.

Let's walk!


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8/25/16 8:42 A

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

How many ways can you brush your teeth?

Our habits save time, and some of the good ones, such as abstinence, can also save our lives. A fine line separates useful habits from ruts; however, the former, we wish to cultivate, and the latter, we'd just as soon avoid.

How about trying a new route to work? It might take a little longer, but you'd also have different scenery to view. How about doing some relaxing, stretching, unwinding exercises before dinner? Introducing novelty into the details of our existence makes us aware that today is a new day and that we can alter our responses.

Habits are our servants, not our masters. When we see how easy it is to change the color of our toothbrush and start with the bottom teeth instead of the top, we can branch out to other, more significant activities. We can make changes in our behavior that will change our lives in positive ways.

What would you like to do differently today? What specific action can you take to begin to climb out of an uncomfortable rut?

I will identify an unproductive habit today and turn it upside down.

Let's walk!


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8/24/16 11:27 A

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

It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.
--Sir Winston Churchill

How many times today will we think or say, "I wish I knew what was going to happen"? We can find contentment in the knowledge that God will take care of us, regardless of the outcome of any situation. And even more importantly, God already knows the outcome, and we'll know it too when the time is right. We never need to worry; all is well. We're given the knowledge and direction we need when we're ready for it.

If we had known two or three or ten or twenty years ago that we'd be sharing our current journey with non-using, non-drinking men and women, we'd likely have expressed horror and disbelief. And yet we're here, gratefully so, living more peace-filled moments than we would have ever imagined possible. We got here, little by little, with God's care. We'll get where we're supposed to be in the same loving manner.

I will trust each moment of my life to God's loving care.

Let's walk!


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8/23/16 8:36 A

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

Reflection for the Day

Someone once defined the ego as "the sum total of false ideas about myself." Persistent reworking of the Twelve Steps enables me to gradually strip away my false ideas about myself. This permits nearly imperceptible but steady growth in my understanding of the truth about myself. And this, in turn, leads to a growing understanding of other human beings and God . Do I strive for self-honesty, promptly admitting when I'm wrong?

Today I Pray

God, teach me understanding; teach me to know truth when I meet it; teach me the importance of self-honesty, so that I may be able to say, sincerely, "I was wrong," along with, "I am sorry." Teach me that there is such a thing as a "healthy ego" which does not require that feelings be medicated by mood-alterers. May I slowly, on my tightrope, move toward the ideal of balance, so I can do away with the nets of falsehood and compulsion.

Today I Will Remember

To keep my balance.

Let's walk!


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8/22/16 8:45 A

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

Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly.
--Julie Andrews

If we think of the word discipline, we might visualize forms of punishment or reprimand from teachers, parents, or bosses. Yet discipline doesn't have to be negative or an effort in blood, sweat, and tears. Discipline can be the structure we need in order to achieve our goals.

Within the program are disciplines to follow to achieve our goal of a renewed outlook on life. The Steps are probably the greatest discipline, for they provide a framework to formulate more positive beliefs about ourselves and our lives. Going to meetings is another discipline that helps keep us on track as we learn and grow. There are other disciplines, too - sharing with others, reading literature, becoming committed to a group, and practicing the program's principles in all our affairs. All these disciplines keep us focused on our ultimate goal -- freedom from all past obsessions and negativity. With the discipline of the program, we can learn to fly.

I can discipline myself to remain focused on the program. I know the benefits of such discipline.

Let's walk!


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8/21/16 9:19 A

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

Anything forced into manifestation through personal will is always "ill got" and has "ever bad success."
--Florence Scovel Shinn

The main thrust of our recovery is to attune ourselves to God's will, struggling no longer to impose our own. The pain we've endured in past years was often of our own making. We controlled situations until we managed to force the outcome we desired, only to realize it didn't offer happiness. It was, instead, a bitter ending to the struggle.

When we want something or someone to play by our rules, we can expect barriers. And when the barriers don't give way with a gentle push, we should consider it a clue that we are off course. When we want what God wants for us, the barriers, if any, will fall away.

What God wants for us at every moment is growth and happiness. When we step away from our ego and develop a selfless posture toward life, we'll find serenity in the midst of any turmoil. Serenity is God's promise. When we get in line with God's will, we'll find peace.

I will know God's will if I will listen to my inner voice. I will do what feels right, and peace will be my reward.

Let's walk!


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8/20/16 9:16 A

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

It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, more strength to relate to people than to dominate them, more "manhood" to abide by thought-out principles rather than blind reflex. Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles and an immature mind.
--Alex Karras

In our culture, being a man often means being tough and not showing feelings. We realize in this life of recovery that those are silly and immature myths, even though we see them repeatedly on TV, on billboards, and in newspapers.

When we are told these things repeatedly, it makes an impact on us. So we need to hear from each other that this is not the way we wish to live. We don't admire these attitudes, and we don't believe the stories. Truly courageous men know themselves. They have been around enough to have depth to their souls, to let themselves love, and to feel the pain of life.

Today, I am grateful to know and share my feelings and to have genuine relationships with those I love.

Let's walk!


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8/19/16 11:45 A

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

Disappointment and Frustration

If we blindly accept someone else's beliefs or opinions - taking them as our own - then we set ourselves up for disappointment and heartache. If we do not examine another's viewpoint, in the light of our own experiences and abilities, we place the control of our happiness or sorrow in someone else's hands.

A gentleman illustrated this point with a story from his own life. "My father always regarded sticking with one job as a mark of stability. This, he felt, was emotional maturity even though he stayed unhappily at the same job for years. I never questioned his opinion.

"So, when I lost my first teaching job, I lost all my self-confidence as well as my father's approval. I believed I was emotionally immature and unstable. Then, after four more teaching job disasters. I discovered what the real issue was. It wasn't my lack of maturity or stability at all. It was my unsuitability to the job itself.

"I discovered I hated teaching basic skills just for the security of a paycheck. What I really wanted to do was write. That's what I'm doing now, but it took me five teaching jobs and a deep questioning of my father's views before I found what was right for me."

Today, I will not blindly accept another's opinion without examining it in the light of my own experiences, abilities, and desires.

Let's walk!


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8/18/16 8:41 A

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

... there are many sham diamonds in this life which pass for real, and vice versa, many real diamonds which go unvalued.
--W. M. Thackeray

It's high praise to say that someone is "genuine - the real thing." We use the image of jewelry when we talk about character: "Pure gold - 14 karat - rings true - a diamond of the first water - a pearl." The qualities of beauty and rarity make gems precious to us, and by using the same language to describe people, we imply that real personal worth is equally beautiful, and equally rare.

Yet it's within everyone's grasp. We all agree on the valuable character traits: honesty, loyalty, openness, courage, humor, and the capacity for love. Imitations won't do.

I needn't worry about whether someone else's qualities are genuine. I know what I admire and I have plenty to do polishing my own.

Let's walk!


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8/18/16 2:01 A

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8/17/16 8:44 A

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

Every conflict has many levels

Some couples live as if they are fighting a cold war. Conflicts are handled by retreat into silence with each feeling like a self-righteous victim. When we retreat into this role we abandon ourselves and our commitments to our relationship. We tear away at the relationship we originally created out of love and hope.

When conflicts arise, as they must, resolution depends on taking the risk to go back to our partner with enough calmness to listen and speak our piece. We must let go of our pride and desire to be right. We each believe our case is just.

But our differences are not necessarily about who is right or wrong, good or bad. Every conflict has many levels. Many times in conflict what we want most is to feel listened to and understood. When we listen and work to understand, we can let go of our need to "win," and our differences can build our common strength.

Tell your partner about a conflict or difference of opinion for which you have gone silent.

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8/16/16 8:55 P

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8/16/16 10:42 A

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

Go and wake up your luck.
-- Persian proverb

We've been given recovery. For this, we're lucky. And we're grateful. Now it's up to us. We must accept our choices. When we're afraid, do we choose to be alone? Or do we choose to go to an extra meeting? When we're not honest, do we keep it secret? Or do we admit it and try to be more honest? No matter what we choose, we're responsible for that choice. Through choices, we either make our program strong or weak.

We can choose to be lucky. Or we can choose not to be. The choice is ours. Our addiction robbed us of choice. It taught us to blame others. Now we see ourselves as responsible.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, help me to choose wisely. Help me remember I'm responsible for my choices.

Today's Action

Today I'll work at being responsible for my choices. I'll see myself as one of the lucky ones.

Let's walk!


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8/16/16 1:18 A

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8/15/16 8:45 A

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

No one likes a martyr.

How do we feel around martyrs? Guilty, angry, trapped, negative, and anxious to get away.

Somehow, many of us have developed the belief that depriving ourselves, not taking care of ourselves, being a victim, and suffering needlessly will get us what we want.

It is our job to notice our abilities, our strengths, and take care of ourselves by developing and acting on them.

It is our job to notice our pain and weariness and appropriately take care of ourselves.

It is our job to notice our deprivation, too, and begin to take steps to give ourselves abundance. It begins inside of us, by changing what we believe we deserve, by giving up our deprivation and treating ourselves the way we deserve to be treated.

Life is hard, but we don't have to make it more difficult by neglecting ourselves. There is no glory in suffering, only suffering. Our pain will not stop when a rescuer comes, but when we take responsibility for ourselves and stop our own pain.

Today, I will be my own rescuer. I will stop waiting for someone else to work through my issues and solve my problems for me.

Let's walk!


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8/15/16 12:04 A

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8/14/16 9:28 A

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

Living in the Present

One day at a time,
This is enough.
Do not look back and grieve over the past.
For it is gone. . .
And do not be troubled about the future.
For it has not yet come.
Live in the present, and make it so beautiful.
That it will be worth remembering.

Let's walk!


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8/14/16 3:35 A

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8/13/16 8:49 A

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

Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourage; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable.
-- Harry Emerson Fosdick

It has been said that the opposite of fear is faith. But how do we change our fears into faith if we have little or no faith? How do we start having faith? One of the easiest ways to develop an alternative to fear is to ask ourselves during a moment of fear: What is the worst that could happen? Once we know the answer to that question, we have dealt with the source of our fears - the unknown.

What do we fear now? First we need to identify all the unknowns that we fear. Once we recognize all the things that can happen, we will be able to prepare ourselves for possible failure, loss, or sadness. By recognizing the fears, we take away some of their power over us. We can then believe we will be all right.

What do I fear and why do I fear it? I know I am okay because I have identified my fear.

Let's walk!


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8/12/16 11:52 A

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8/12/16 11:31 A

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

Fall in love with life

I was sitting in the chair at the beauty shop getting my hair cut one day and listening to my beautician chatter away. She showed me a picture of one of her friends, a woman who had gotten married and recently had a baby girl.

"She's been so in love since that child was born," she said, showing me a picture of the new mother's smiling face.

"In love with her husband?" I asked.

"No," she said. "Well, that, too. I mean in love with life."

Have you ever been in love, had your heart beat fast when you anticipated the call of your lover, felt the way the sun felt warmer on your face, the sky appeared bluer, the clouds more fluffy, and the sunset more grand?

What if you could fall in love with your life and feel that way each day? I'm not saying romantic relationships are bad. They're not. They're part of being human and getting our needs met. But what if we could take all that passion and focus it into falling in love with life?

Maybe that is what is meant by universal love. Maybe that's the part we give back.

Fall in love with your life today.

God, help me feel passionate about my life and all the possibilities that stretch out before me.

Let's walk!


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8/12/16 2:12 A

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8/11/16 8:31 A

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

Without a sense of humor, you're old in a hurry.
--Janice Clark

We've all been in the company of constant complainers. They drag down the mood of everyone they encounter. Can we be accused of this demeanor on occasion too?

Maybe it seems impossible to wear a happy face all the time. And it's not always easy to laugh at ourselves, particularly when we're feeling anxious and vulnerable. However, becoming willing to see the humor in our many foibles, learning to not take ourselves so seriously is well worth the effort. The lucky ones among us learned this trait many years ago, and we recognize them instantly. We generally love being around them, too. Laughter is good medicine. Whether it's at ourselves or simply at a situation or a clever movie, laughter lightens our mood, thus lightening whatever burden we might be carrying.

When we were young, most of us had fears about financial instability, war, our children, or our careers. Life does have many serious aspects. But we were never required to handle any of them alone. If we relied on the God of our understanding, all of the burdens were more easily accepted. That gave us time to breathe more easily. Laughter was then more frequent. It can be more frequent now, too. It's simply a decision to see every circumstance with a lighter heart.

It's so much more fun to laugh than to complain. It's my choice today.

Let's walk!


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8/10/16 11:35 A

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

Readiness is a precondition for change.

If we earnestly and conscientiously apply the tools of our program, we are certain to experience positive change. We are promised new freedom and happiness and assured that a Higher Power can and will remove our negative characteristics.

The question is, are we ready to change? If we hang on tightly to self-will, resentments, fear, mistrust, and all the other weaknesses that get in our way, our Higher Power has a tough time prying us loose. We must be prepared to let go and open ourselves to new possibilities if the change we seek is to occur.

Along with taking a daily inventory, we can cultivate the readiness to abandon our counterproductive tendencies and try something new. In this way, we cooperate with the force for positive growth that lies within each of us. We cannot command or control this force, but we can learn to be responsive to it.

Today, I am ready for positive change. I will be responsive to inner nudges that move me in that direction.



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8/9/16 8:31 A

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

A good garden may have some weeds.
--Thomas Fuller

Newcomer

I've done a few things I'm not proud of, but isn't that part of being human? Other people aren't perfect either.

Sponsor

Looking honestly and unflinchingly at our behavior, while at the same time having compassion for ourselves, is a powerful combination. Steps Four through Nine offer us a simple process for clearing up the wreckage of the past so that we can live without the burden of regret. In recovery, we have the opportunity to change for the better, not to demand perfection of ourselves or others.

My perfectionism sometimes makes me forget that I'm engaged in a process of change over time. It also lets me exaggerate both how "good" and "bad" I am. If I'm not "the greatest" in some situation, I decide, in my arrogance, that I must be the "the worst." What a strange way of giving myself importance! One of the program sayings reminds me not to compare my insides with other people's outsides. I have my own unique gifts; accepting and nurturing these gifts brings me joy and allows me to contribute to the human community.

We're capable of feeling love and compassion for others who are far from perfect. In recovery, we can learn to extend that love and compassion to ourselves.

For today, I will delete "perfect" from my vocabulary and practice using the word "better."

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8/8/16 8:41 A

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

I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me all at once.
--Jennifer Unlimited

We all need a little humor in our lives and in the way we work the program. For example, one of the first things we learn in recovery is to "take one day at a time." This is very good advice, so we practice living that way. Most days it works pretty well.

But once in a while it seems like we can't even handle one day. We just can't handle everything that happens along the way, plus carry out our own plans for the day. Perhaps we have to stop and change a flat tire. Or a friend calls and needs help. Or one of our kids has a meltdown in the grocery store. Or maybe all those things happen in the same day! That kind of day used to be our perfect excuse to get high.

Now it's a perfect excuse to take a deep breath, call our sponsor or a friend, and have a good laugh about it. Now we realize that our days are not really ours. We can plan them, but we can't really control them. That's just the way it is, and it's okay.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, please help me to pay attention to the most important things today. And please, send a few good laughs my way.

Today's Action

I will find a few things to laugh about today.

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8/7/16 6:45 P

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8/7/16 9:14 A

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

"If onlys" are lonely.
--Morgan Jennings

The circumstances of our lives seldom live up to our expectations or desires. However, in each circumstance we are offered an opportunity for growth or change, a chance for greater understanding of life's heights and pitfalls. Each time we choose to lament what isn't, we close the door on the invitation to a better existence.

We simply don't know just what's best for us. Our vision is limited. Less so today than yesterday, but limited still. The experiences we are offered will fail to satisfy our expectations because we expect so much less than God has planned for us in the days ahead.

We get what we need in the way of relationships, adventures, joys and sorrows, today and every day. Celebrating what we get and knowing there is good in it eases whatever trial we are undergoing. We are cared for, right now. We need not lament what we think we need. We do have what we need. We will always get what we need, when we need it.

I will breathe deeply and relax. At this moment my every need is being attended to.

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8/6/16 11:03 A

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

As life is action and passion, it is required of man that he should share the action and passion of his time at peril of being judged not to have lived.
--Oliver Wendell Holmes

America's greatest killer is. . . What? Car wreaks? Heart attacks? Cancer? Alcoholism? How about suffocation by a sense of inferiority? Many of us adult children have tragic personal insight into the number of alcoholic deaths that are attributed to pneumonia, congestive heart failure, or anything but alcoholism. But feelings of inferiority are just as lethal as any of these. Although they may not appear so, people who feel a deep sense of inferiority are not fully alive.

But there is ample evidence that people do love us, that we are missed when we are not around. For all the doom and gloom that may be familiar to us, aren't we surrounded also by beauty? Doesn't the sun rise each day? And don't we have it within our power to make of this day whatever we choose?

Today, I remind myself I have something to contribute.

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8/5/16 11:49 A

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

Changing our attitudes

Our prayer is, "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." We say this prayer at least once a day because, although we must accept the things we cannot change today, they may, in fact, change tomorrow.

This seems to be a paradox, yet once we truly and completely accept something, it begins to change. While the objective fact remains unchanged, our attitude toward it and our relationship to it have changed. It is with our attitudes toward people and things that we must learn to live.

Am I changing my attitudes?

Higher Power, help me live fully today, neither forward nor backward, but here and now.

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8/4/16 2:08 P

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8/4/16 11:03 A

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

We believe in Human Ecology,
the understanding and care of human beings
as whole persons in light of their relationship
to God, themselves, their families,
and the society in which they live.
--The Philosophy of Human Ecology

The philosophy of Human Ecology covers all three aspects of our recovery: body, mind, and spirit.

We know that taking care of our bodies is essential to recovery. That means eating properly, exercising as much as we can, and not abusing ourselves physically.

Taking care of our minds is also important. We are trying to make choices that enhance our recovery, not diminish it. This includes the things we read, watch, and listen to. We seek out education and positive affirmation. We go to meetings. We gather with others who share our vision.

Spirituality is the common thread through all of this, for without it we are lost. Our spiritual search is our effort to improve our conscious contact with God. Through this search comes harmony of body, mind, and spirit.

Today let me remember the principles of Human Ecology. They provide a simple reminder of where I've been and where I am going.



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8/4/16 2:49 A

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8/3/16 8:32 A

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

We are not unlike a particularly hardy crustacean. ... With each passage from one stage of human growth to the next, we, too, must shed a protective structure.
--Gail Sheehy

Our passage into a new stage of development was initiated by our desire to stop using chemicals. The values we lived by while using chemicals no longer fit us. We need to shed our old skin and grow a new one that reflects our current worldview.

We are now, and always will be, in the stage of becoming, of trying to fulfill our changing dreams and aspirations. What we can accomplish at one stage of life is different from what we can handle at another. And yet an overall design is being shaped by all our endeavors. The more willing we are to shed yet another skin, the more centered, stable, and spirit filled we'll become.

Do my actions fit my values? As I outgrow my values, I will release them. I will relish my growth today and celebrate my new skin.

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8/3/16 3:46 A

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8/2/16 8:49 A

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

Reflection for the Day

What wonderful things could happen in my life if I could get rid of my natural impulse to justify my actions? Is honesty so deeply repressed under layers of guilt that I can't release it to understand my motives? Being honest with ourselves isn't easy. It's difficult to search out why I had this or that impulse and, more importantly, why I acted upon it. Nothing makes us feel so vulnerable as to give up the crutch of the alibi, yet my willingness to be vulnerable will go a long way toward helping me grow in the Program. Am I becoming more aware that self-deception multiplies my problems?

Today I Pray

May God remove my urge to make excuses. Help me to face up to the realities that surface when I am honest with myself. Help me to know, as certainly as day follows sunrise, that my difficulties will be lessened if I can only trust God's will.

Today I Will Remember

I will be willing to do God's will.

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8/2/16 2:37 A

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8/1/16 8:46 A

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

I watched a man I know help his wife take care of their babies.

“How did you learn to be such a good dad?” I asked. He explained that his father had been a great dad. His mother had died when he was three, leaving his father on his own to care for him and his baby sister.

“So he just stepped up to the plate?” I asked.

“Like Babe Ruth,” he said.

Inventory Focus:

What – or who – is challenging you? Are you creating healthy challenges or unnecessary chaos? Do you want it just because you can’t have it, or do you really want it? Are you stepping up to the plate and accepting the real challenges in your life?

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8/1/16 1:32 A

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7/31/16 9:41 A

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

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
--Winston Churchill

As we grow spiritually, we naturally become more generous. It's a quality of a well-developed person. Rather than being anxious over whether we will have enough - and rather than hungrily seeking more and more - we become more openhearted. We feel more abundant within ourselves and find that our spirit of generosity even adds to our own abundant feelings. Where we see a need, we help out.

A generous person doesn't need to shower others with material gifts. The most precious gifts are things such as paying attention to others, respecting them for who they are, and giving our time. Often a material gift is a symbol of the good feelings in a relationship. In our generosity, we also learn to receive others' gifts to us with humility and respect.

Today I take pleasure in my spirit of generosity.

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7/30/16 10:06 A

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7/30/16 9:38 A

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

The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.
--Martha Washington

We all have friends who seem happy even though they run into lots of bad luck. And we all know other people who seem grumpy all the time. Nothing makes them very happy. It's puzzling, but some people have decided, maybe without even knowing it, that life is fun and should be enjoyed. No bit of bad luck has to make us miserable unless we let it.

A broken bike, a lost math assignment, a rained-out picnic are things that might make us miserable. But, we can decide they won't. Feeling happy can be a habit - just like brushing teeth before bedtime.

Will I stop and think today before I let things make me unhappy?

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7/30/16 3:50 A

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7/29/16 8:17 A

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

It is clear the future holds opportunities - it also holds pitfalls. The trick will be to seize the opportunities, avoid the pitfalls, and get back home by 6:00.
--Woody Allen

Sometimes we take ourselves far too seriously. We draw our lives in the absolutes of black and white, with no shadings of gray. We believe our whole lives depend on every decision we make. When a problem comes along, we see it as a crisis rather than another of the ongoing issues that confront all people. If we are displeased with someone, or if a person is upset with us, we amplify the feelings until we rupture the whole relationship.

It would be helpful to look at today's tasks and problems as a game. Yes, we would like to play the game well, but we could have a good time while doing it. If we don't take ourselves or our problems too seriously, maybe we'll have some fun.

Help me learn that daily living needs the light of humor.


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7/28/16 8:23 A

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

Opportunity may knock only once,
But temptation leans on the doorbell.
--Anonymous

We have an opportunity. We've made getting out of debt a priority in our lives. Just having this desire gives us the opportunity. For this, we are grateful.

It's all too easy, however, to slip into our old ways of thinking and behaving. Our old spending patterns are all too fresh in our mind. We remember to take this opportunity – this juncture in our lives – to learn and to grow. If we're tempted to return to our old ways, we're going backward.

Today I will remember that my old thinking and behaviors are a part of my history, not my future.


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7/27/16 3:27 P

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

No human creature can give orders to love.
--George Sand

If we're trying to get others to love us, all we're really doing is trying to be in control. Trying to control others can be a powerful drug. Remember, we can't control others. We can't make others love us. Our Higher Power has control, not us.

So, what do we need to do? Turn things over to our Higher Power and just be ourselves. Sure, it can scare us to just be ourselves. The truth is, not everyone will love us. But if we're honest about who we are, others will respect us. We'll like ourselves better. And we'll have a better chance of loving others and being loved.

Prayer for the Day

I pray to have my need for control lifted from me. I pray to be rid of self-will.

Action for the Day

Today, I'll list five ways my self-will - my need to control - has gotten me in trouble.

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7/26/16 8:26 A

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Today's thoughts from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation are:
First we work the program because we have to. Then we work the program because we are willing to. Finally we work the program because we want to.
*****
When you do all the talking you only learn what you already know.
*****
Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed.
*****
If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere.
*****
Sponsors: have one, use one, be one.


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7/25/16 10:24 P

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7/25/16 8:23 A

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

Being open

Sometimes we think we're supposed to have more recovery under our belts. Perhaps we feel the need to impress our peers with our success in staying off mind-altering chemicals. But perhaps we are really just trying to convince ourselves. We know how difficult recovery is, and surely our Higher Power is not fooled by our pretense of well being.

If we try to hide our problems, we cannot get help for them. To get help we must tell people where we're really at. No one can read a closed book.

Am I open with others?

Higher Power, help me believe in the saying, "Ask and you shall receive."


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7/24/16 10:51 A

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

Not what we would, but what we must, makes up the sum of living.
--Richard Henry Stoddard

"We must do the things we must" is frequent advice in the Program. Each Step is evidence of what our founders did in order to achieve abstinence and keep it going with serenity and security. All of the "musts" implied in the Steps and frequently mentioned throughout the Big Book are also spiritual. We will find the importance of "must" in the favorite quotes from that book.

The Steps aren't based on the theory of "thou shalt not." They are based on the theory that "thou shall." That's why we say "there are no musts" in our Program.

Fortunately, those Twelve Steps we work require positive action. They tell us what we can do in order that each of us can live a joyous, happy, and free existence.

"Must" appears many times in the Big Book, along with a few "absolutes." This doesn't refer to our requirements for working the Program. It just lets us concentrate on what we can do, not on what we can't.

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7/24/16 12:07 A

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

Let your tears come. Let them water your soul.
--Eileen Mayhew

We often want to sit down and cry, but the tears don't seem to come. For years we may have struggled to keep ourselves from crying because we've been made to feel that tears are a sign of weakness. And we certainly don't want to look foolish and vulnerable in front of our "tough" friends!

One of the good things about joining and building trust with a group of other recovering people is that we can let down our defenses and not feel exploited. We can show our tenderness for others and ask to be cared for. Our addiction has kept us aloof from others, but now we can begin to get close. We know we are safe now and among people who know what it means to trust and love again.

So when the tears feel like coming, we can now let them come. What a relief it is to weep for the hurt child within us or cry over a painful separation. Tears help us mourn our losses and bring us in touch with the present.

I am no longer afraid to show my emotions. I share my experiences in tears and laughter.





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7/22/16 11:00 A

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

Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgment of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you're going to do about it.
--Kathleen Casey Theisen

Recovery offers us courage to make choices about the events of our lives. Passive compliance with whatever is occurring need no longer dominate our pattern of behavior. Powerlessly watching our lives go by was common for many of us, and our feelings of powerlessness escalated the more idle we were.

Today, action is called for -- thoughtful action in response to the situations begging for our attention. Recovery's greatest gift is the courage to take action, to make decisions that will benefit us as well as the people who are close to us. Courage is the byproduct of our spiritual progress, courage to accept what we cannot change, believing that all will be well, courage to change in ourselves what we do have control over.

An exhilaration about life accompanies the taking of action. The spell that idleness casts over us is broken, and subsequent actions are even easier to take. Clearly, making a choice and acting on it is healthful. The program has given us the tools to do both.

Decisions will be called for today. I will be patient with myself, and thoughtful. I will listen closely to the guidance that comes from those around me.



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7/22/16 1:15 A

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7/21/16 8:48 A

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

"Remember the old Chinese handcuffs thing," a friend reminds me when I get stuck doing the same thing over and over, even though whatever I'm doing doesn't work.

A Chinese handcuff is a toy, a small bamboo tube, about four inches long. You stick an index finger in each end. Then when you pull, you're trapped. The harder you pull, the more stuck you get. Your instinctive reaction, not the handcuffs, keeps you trapped. To set yourself free you have to take certain steps. Letting go isn't enough. You have to relax, then gently push in before you can pull yourself loose.

Sometimes taking action means relaxing and doing the opposite of what our instincts tell us to do. If we have tried to do something a hundred times, and the way we're doing it hasn't worked, it probably still won't the next time. It may be time to try something else.

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7/20/16 3:18 P

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7/20/16 11:13 A

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

How we look at the world.

The world we live in has much that is good and much that is bad. Each day we can seek out the positive or the negative. If we choose to dwell on the negative, then that is what we will experience. But if we dwell on the positive, then that is more likely what we will experience.

The choice today is ours. We are the only ones who have the power to change how we look at the world.

How do I view the world today?

Thought for the Day

It is remarkable how things change when I decide to change the way I look at them.

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7/20/16 5:50 A

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7/19/16 11:19 A

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

What I said never changed anybody; what they understood did.
--Paul. P.

How often have we given our all to change somebody else? How frantically have we tried to force a loved one to see the light? How hopelessly have we watched a destructive pattern - perhaps a pattern we know well from personal experience - bring terrible pain to someone who is dear to us?

All of us have.

We would do anything to save the people we love. In our desperation, we imagine that if we say just the right words in just the right way, our loved ones will understand.

If change happens, we think our efforts have succeeded.

If change doesn't happen, we think our efforts have failed. But neither is true. Even our best efforts don't have the power to change someone else. Nor do we have that responsibility. People are only persuaded by what they understand. And they, as we, can understand a deeper truth only when it is their time to grow toward deeper understanding. Not before.

Today, I will focus on changing myself and entrust those I love to the Higher Power who loves them even more than I do.



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7/19/16 12:17 A

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7/18/16 8:35 A

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

Relaxing when things don't go as you planned.

So, the boyfriend calls, says he's going hiking with his buddies for a week, cancels his date with you and says he hopes you won't be mad.

Or the bank calls and says you're overdrawn, and you don't know how that can be. You've been trying to carefully watch your deposits and checks. You've gone out of your way not to mess up. This can't be right!

What do you do when life seems to force you to react? You can panic, become anxious, yell, and respond with a counterattack. But that probably won't solve the problem. And it may turn things into a brawl.

Or you can calm down. Breathe deeply. Tell yourself to relax. Say as little as possible, if that's possible, while you're upset and disturbed. If a problem or disturbance that's not fair interrupts your life, try responding by saying hmmm. Then calm down and decide what you need to do.

God, help me start sailing through life with more ease by learning to relax and let life be.

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7/18/16 3:31 A

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7/17/16 9:24 A

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

Celebrate: To observe an occasion with appropriate ceremonies of respect, festivity, and rejoicing.
--The American Heritage Dictionary

New Year's Eve marks the end of one year and the beginning of another. In the old days of our using, we used this day as an excuse to drink, use drugs, and act wild and crazy. We did not really think about honoring the year that was ending or about welcoming the new year.

Some recovering folks spend this evening with their families, playing games, watching videos, and sharing plans for the coming year. Other recovering folks invite recovering friends over for supper or go to a special Twelve Step meeting or a sober dance. Some attend special religious services, perhaps at a church, synagogue, mosque, or sweat lodge.

The ending of the year is an important occasion to celebrate. We are alive, and we are on the path of recovery. It has been an important year!

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, thanks for the good things that have happened this year. Help me stay sober so that I can live the coming year in Your love and protection.

Today's Action

I will use this night to honor the changes in my life. I will list ten good or important things that have happened this year. I will find time to talk about them with someone tonight as I celebrate. I will remember to have fun, to be sober, and to be safe.



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7/16/16 4:25 P

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

The Wolf and the Crane

A wolf had been eating when a bone became stuck in his throat. Soon, the pain became excruciating. He rushed to a pond, thinking water would loosen the bone. But he could not swallow. Frantic, he looked around and saw a crane watching him. "I would give anything," he rasped, "if you would remove this bone from my throat. Your neck is long and your beak is strong. Please help me."

The crane agreed. It lowered its neck and put its long beak into the wolf's throat, removing the bone. "I would now like the reward you promised," said the crane.

But the wolf growled. "It is enough that you have placed your head into my strong jaws, and I have spared your life. Be gone with you, or you will be my next dinner.

The Moral of the story: An enemy's promises were made to be broken.

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7/15/16 1:17 P

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7/15/16 9:32 A

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

Self importance is our greatest enemy. Think about it - what weakens us is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of our fellowmen. Our self importance requires that we spend most of our lives offended by someone.
--Carlos Castaneda

Were we offended by someone yesterday? Do we harbor resentment for remarks, oversights, or unpleasant mannerisms? Do we feel tense or uneasy about how someone else has treated us? We can probably make a good case to justify our reactions. Perhaps we are in the right and they are in the wrong.

Yet, even if we are justified, it doesn't matter. We may be puffing ourselves up and wasting energy. When we are oversensitive, we take a self-righteous position which leads us far from our path of spiritual awakening. Our strength is diminished.

How much better it is to let go of the lightness, let go of our grandiosity, and accept the imperfections in others. We need to accept our own imperfections too. When we do, we are better for it, and our strength and energy can be focused on richer goals.

I will accept others' imperfections; I do not need to be right.

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7/14/16 11:51 A

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

I alone can do it. But I can't do it alone.
--Anonymous

We're the luckiest people alive because we don't have to do anything alone! Whether we have a new assignment to tackle, a new relationship to cultivate, a new boss to please, we'll never fail as long as we rely on the program, our sponsors, and our Higher Power.

That doesn't mean we won't have trying times and some failures. But the companionship we need for handling the difficult periods will never be denied us. Perhaps we think it will. Maybe that's why we try to do too much alone.

We didn't end up in this Twelve Step program as the result of living peaceful, productive lives. We're here because we got scared. Our lives weren't working. And they won't work now if we insist on doing it alone. This is our second chance. Let's take it.

I will seek the support I need from friends and God today. I'll have a good day because of this.

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7/14/16 1:01 A

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7/13/16 8:48 A

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

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Many of us can probably recount the details of the "last straw," the turning point, the moment we began the journey on the road to recovery. Up until then all roads, however different, led downhill. For some of us the descent was steep, rough, and swift; for others, long and winding across years of denial, the pain just under the surface.

But today we are on the brink of recovery. Maybe it still looks like the bottom, but now we're looking up. And that's what counts.

Part of looking up involves enthusiasm for life's smaller offerings. We relish the little things we once overlooked: apple-picking with children on an autumn afternoon; planting seedlings in the spring that, come summer, will yield flowers; the joy of going to sleep with a contented heart.

Enthusiasm breathes hope into our resolve to begin a new sober life. Life looks better in sobriety and it will be better. Enthusiasm can be a key.

Today, help me greet my recovery with gratitude for all that has happened and enthusiasm for all that can be.

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7/12/16 10:12 A

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7/12/16 8:41 A

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

You can observe a lot just by watching.
--Yogi Berra

When we watch others, we learn how to "act as if." We watch a patient person and then we "act as if" we're a patient person. The result? Over time, we'll become a patient person. We watch how good listeners listen, and we "act as if" we know how to listen. Then one day, we realize we're really listening! We watch people who have faith, and we "act as if" we have it. Then over time, we become spiritual people!

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, help me find You in the people and events of my day.

Action for the Day

I will "act as if" my Higher Power is standing next to me all through the day.

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7/11/16 3:01 P

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7/11/16 8:48 A

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

You can't let adversity get you down. Keep smiling.
--Violet Hensley

Violet's smiles certainly fit this category. She lights up rooms with her joy and energy, her fiddle playing and storytelling. We don't all smile quite so easily. Why is that? Some naively assume one's easy; individual circumstances determine the willingness to smile. A few hours with a soul like Violet convinces us otherwise. The work we've done, the environment we inhabit, the struggles we've had or have been free of do not determine our happiness, thus the frequency of our smiles. That's good fortune, in fact.

Smiling is first an attitude and then an action. We don't have to be bubbling over with inner happiness to smile. On the contrary, if something is bothering us, we may discover it will not loom so large if we focus our energy on smiling at a friend or even a stranger. Some would label it miraculous how changed a problem seems when we decide to put our energy into smiling at the passersby in our lives.

The separation we feel from others is what often gives rise to our problems, regardless of their details. Giving a smile and getting one in return diminishes our sense of separation. Problems diminish, too.

How do I feel today? Even a few smiles will lift my spirits.

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7/10/16 9:27 A

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

Staying in the Present Moment

Often, one of our biggest questions is, "What's going to happen?" We may ask this about our relationships, our career, our recovery, and our life. It is easy to tangle ourselves up in worrisome thoughts.

Worrying about what's going to happen blocks us from functioning effectively today. It keeps us from doing our best now. It blocks us from learning and mastering today's lessons. Staying in the now, doing our best, and participating fully today are all we need to do to assure ourselves that what's going to happen tomorrow will be for the best.

Worrying about what's going to happen is a negative contribution to our future. Living in the here and now is ultimately the best thing we can do, not only for today, but also for tomorrow. It helps our relationships, our career, our recovery, and our life.

Things will work out, if we let them. If we must focus on the future other than to plan, all we need to do is affirm that it will be good.

I pray for faith that my future will be good if I live today well, and in peace. I will remember that staying in the present is the best thing I can do for my future. I will focus on what's happening now instead of what's going to happen tomorrow.

Let's walk!


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7/9/16 10:23 A

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7/9/16 9:02 A

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

A.A. Thought for the Day

The length of time of our sobriety is not as important as its quality. A person who has been in A.A. for a number of years may not be in as good mental condition as a person who has only been in a few months. It is a great satisfaction to have been an A.A. member for a long time and we often mention it. It may sometimes help the newer members, because they may say to themselves, "If they can do it, I can do it." And yet the older members must realize that as long as they live, they are only one drink away from a drunk. What is the quality of my sobriety?

Meditation for the Day

"And greater works than this shall ye do." We can do greater works when we have more experience of the new way of life. We can have all the power we need from the Unseen God. We can have His grace, His spirit, to make us effective as we go along each day. Opportunities for a better world are all around us. Greater works can we do. But we do not work alone. The power of God is behind all good works.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may find a rightful place in the world. I pray that my work may be made more effective by the grace of God.

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7/8/16 8:44 A

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

Time spent attempting to change others affords little time for personal change.
--Georgette Vickstrom

We must be willing to change or we wouldn't be reading these words right now. However, being willing to change is often easier than doing it. One of the biggest changes most of us need to make is learning to let others be who they are, regardless of who we want them to be. Most of us think our lives would be far smoother and more productive if only other people lived up to our standards. How wrong we are!

If we could change others as we wish, we would live far less enlightened lives. In fact, we discover opportunities for personal development in our interactions with the men and women who frustrate us so. The irony is that we wish they'd change, but if they did, we wouldn't experience the growth we deserve.

I will enhance my growth today by letting others be who they are and working on myself.

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7/7/16 11:02 A

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

You are the artist in your life

You create the images and colors on the canvas called your life. Are you creating the picture you want? Does your canvas convey a life of fulfillment and growth? Or does your canvas convey chaos and despair?

You are the artist; God is your co-creator. Together all things are possible. But when we mistakenly believe that other people control our destiny, we end up feeling bitter and hopeless. In truth, we're in partnership with a Higher Power, or whatever you choose to call it. I call that power God. We make the initial decisions; God carries out our plans. God could not render our lives what they are without our assistance. We are the artists, and ultimately we call the shots.

I invite you to consider a different perspective. This may not be easy to swallow if you are a struggling single parent, someone who has just lost a job, or someone facing other tough circumstances. You're invited to first see whether you played a part in where you are. And the best news you can give yourself is to say yes, because if you played even a small part, there is something you can do to change that canvas of your life. But if you played no part whatsoever, then you may be waiting forever for someone to change the course of your life. And that could be a very long wait.

You're invited to be your artist. And you have at your fingertips all the necessary tools to turn your canvas into a masterpiece.

Let's walk!


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7/7/16 2:31 A

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7/6/16 8:47 A

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One cannot have wisdom without living life.
--Dorothy McCall

Living life means responding, wholly, to our joys and our pitfalls. It means not avoiding the experiences or activities that we fear we can't handle. Only through our survival of them do we come to know who we really are; we come to understand the strength available to us at every moment. And that is wisdom.

When we approach life tentatively, we reap only a portion of its gifts. It's like watching a movie in black and white that's supposed to be in Technicolor. Our lives are in color, but we must have courage to let the colors emerge, to feel them, absorb them, be changed by them. Within our depths, we find our true selves. The complexities of life teach us wisdom. And becoming wise eases the many pitfalls in our path.

Living life is much more than just being alive. I can choose to jump in with both feet. Wisdom awaits me in the depths.

Let's walk!


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7/6/16 4:22 A

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7/5/16 8:45 A

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

Love must be learned, and learned again and again; there is no end to it. Hate needs no instruction, but only waits to be provoked.
--Katherine Anne Porter

We often enter into our relationships believing there is one perfect way to act, and if we can only find that way, we'll be successful, accepted. But there is no such thing as one best way to be with another person. The wonder of any relationship is that it involves two imperfect people.

Believing that perfection will ensure love is addictive thinking. Love is a gift that must be given freely, there is nothing we can do to control someone else's choice to love us or not love us. All we can do is our part by learning each day to love as best we can. It may be difficult to find within ourselves such qualities as emotional maturity, separateness, honesty, forgiveness, patience, and self-respect. But those are the very qualities we must cultivate to love someone else.

It can be frightening to trust another person enough to take risks and let go of the outcome. But love is a risk that's worth it.

I am learning that I don't need to be perfect to be accepted and loved by others. I'm also learning that I don't need to expect perfection from others to love and accept them.

Let's walk!


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7/4/16 2:42 P

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7/4/16 9:25 A

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

To enjoy freedom we have to control ourselves.
--Virginia Woolf

Freedom is a funny thing. In a way, it makes life harder. We are free to do what we want, but every choice makes a difference in our lives. Some choices make us happy, and some bring trouble.

We can make good choices. We can control our actions. We can start by having control in little ways - follow the law, pay the rent, make the bed every day. These choices put order in our lives. Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. These choices make us strong enough to live each day to the fullest. These kinds of choices set us free.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, when I was drinking and drugging, I couldn't enjoy my freedom. I had no control over the little things in my life. Help me stay sober today.

Action for the Day

Today, I'll be grateful for having some control. I will list five ways I am more free because I can control my actions.

Let's walk!


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7/3/16 9:28 A

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

Often happiness calls but we are too busy to answer.
--Ellen H.

In the pursuit of happiness many people are too busy to find that which they seek. Frequently the happiness we so passionately desire is found in little events that are but whispered. If we don't pay attention, we miss them.

There can be happiness in the way light falls through the trees. There can be happiness in the way our children call for us by name or in the familiar sight of our home as we round the corner two blocks away. Happiness weaves its way through precious memories and keepsakes that have no monetary value but are priceless to us. Many take enormous delight in the presence of a beloved pet, just the way it looks at us or the unconditional love it pours out upon us. For some, there is genuine delight in the taste of a specially loved food.

We are surrounded by that which can be meaningful and full of delight. The question is, will we be still and quiet long enough to enjoy it?

Recovery unveils many beauties that were hidden from me before. I am amazed at the loveliness that surrounds me.

Let's walk!


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