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2/13/16 11:44 A

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

Ordinary moments ... they in turn enrich our lives

Our spiritual life is on the same plane as our everyday relationships. It's not just something within our mind or feelings, and it's not just lofty and in the clouds. Spirituality is between people and in all relationships. Its growth depends on the way we relate to each other as intimate partners. We find it in our relationship to ordinary things like the bread we eat and the water we drink. Spirituality is found in the ways we honor our body with food and touch, work and rest, and in the ways we honor each other.

We jointly extend our spirituality through relationships with others. As we become friends with others or as we welcome people into our home, we receive them with hospitality because God is found in each of them. When we reach out to others or receive them as guests, they in turn enrich and bless our lives. This spiritual practice of hospitality has ancient roots all over the world. It teaches us to relate with generous hospitality to all guests who appear at our door.

Do something generous for someone today.

Let's walk!


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2/12/16 7:43 P

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2/12/16 8:48 A

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

Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.
--Herbert Otto

The rewards of our new life are apparent to us because of how we feel, and apparent to others by what they can see. Many of us had reached our bottom point, and we felt there was no risk in trying a program of recovery. Yet, we still had some distorted security in our harmful ways of relating to others or in our addictions. Letting go was an experiment. This program gives us guidelines for experimenting with our life for growth, and we continue growing every day.

Some of our benefits are increased confidence and self-respect, more intimacy with our partner, better friendships, and better physical health. We feel these changes in ourselves, and we see them in the other men and women in this program.

Today, I am grateful for the rewards in my life from this experiment in recovery.

Let's walk!


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2/11/16 3:10 P

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2/11/16 8:37 A

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

Do, or do not. There is no "try."
--Yoda, in The Empire Strikes Back

Trying is what we do when we aren't willing to make a commitment. We say, "I'll try," when our heart isn't ready to give a full effort. It's what we say when we can't admit that our resolve is wimpy. And it's the lie that will defeat us.

Some challenges we face can't be conquered simply by saying, "I will do it." But we can choose to do something that will help. We can't move the mountain but we can pick up some rocks. We can engage with the problem and get to know it better. Every action we take leads somewhere and sets us up for the next action. We even learn from our mistakes and that moves us closer to achieving our goal.

Today I will not just "try"; I will do something to move toward my goal.

Let's walk!


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2/10/16 8:48 A

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

If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living.
--Seneca

A panic attack is feeling a sudden burst of anxiety and fear for no reason. We all experience anxiety from time to time but it can usually be traced to a cause. A true panic attack happens out of the blue.

Once we may have reacted to panic attacks by getting high and running from them. Then we'd come down and the whole cycle would start over.

Now we don't have to react this way. We can recognize panic attacks for what they are, isolated happenings that will pass. We can also get help from friends, counselors, and sponsors.

Today, we are not alone in our fear. We have hope.

Today let remember not to panic.

Let's walk!


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2/10/16 2:31 A

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2/9/16 8:19 P

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emoticon emoticon I should print this and tape it to my mirror.

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2/9/16 8:41 A

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

Coping with Families

There are many paths to self-care with families. Some people choose to sever connections with family members for a period of time. Some people choose to stay connected with family members and learn different behaviors. Some disconnect for a time, and then return slowly on a different basis.

There is no one or perfect way to deal with members of our family in recovery. It is up to each of us to choose a path that suits us and our needs at each point in time.

The idea that is new to us in recovery is that we can choose. We can set the boundaries we need to set with family members. We can choose a path that works for us, without guilt and obligation or undue influence from any source, including recovery professionals.

Our goal is to detach in love with family members. Our goal is to be able to take care of ourselves, love ourselves, and live healthy lives despite what family members do or don't do. We decide what boundaries or decisions are necessary to do this.

It's okay to say no to our families when that is what we want. It's okay to say yes to our families if that feels right. It's okay to call time out and it's okay to go back as a different person.

God, help me choose the path that is right for me with family. Help me understand there is no right or wrong in this process. Help me strive for forgiveness and learn to detach with love, whenever possible. I understand that this never implies that I have to forfeit self-care and health for the good of the system.

Let's walk!


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2/9/16 3:43 A

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2/8/16 8:35 A

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

Disappointment and Frustration

Many of us, whether we are conscious of it or not, create much of the unhappiness we experience. Our disappointments are the result of our own negative or limited thoughts about ourselves and our world. What are some of those limiting thoughts, those subconscious beliefs, which keep us from experiencing joy and wholeness?

One of those beliefs is that we cannot be fulfilled unless we are loved and accepted by those who are the victims of our past experiences, that we are too old or too set in our ways to change. Still another false idea is, "It's a catastrophe if things don't go my way!" Then, too, there's the self-defeating attitude that to love is to lose, so "I'd better prepare for the worst to happen because it will."

Two more irrational beliefs are, "I have no control over my happiness and I want life to be easy and without hassles; therefore, I'll avoid discomfort or any new commitments."

TODAY I will see each disappointment in my life as a challenge to discover the negative or limited beliefs which keep me from seeing myself as a person of unlimited resources and potential.

Let's walk!


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2/8/16 2:32 A

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2/7/16 9:11 A

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

In music, in the sea, in a flower, in a leaf, in an act of kindness... I see what people call God in all these things.
--Pablo Casals

The Third Step refers to "God as we understood Him." The pathways to meeting our Higher Power and to our spiritual awakening are all around. Every tree and every leaf on every tree, as it rustles in the wind, expresses God in our lives. When the little bird flies overhead or when it comes to visit the feeder, we are being visited by a spirit. When the sky boils with a storm, when lightning and thunder crash, we are witness to power greater than ourselves with a history beyond the centuries. The beautiful works of art created by our fellow human travelers on this journey through life are expressions of their courage to reach out and create something. A line of music moves us and we feel the spirit.

A child makes a drawing and gives it away. A neighbor helps you start your car. You treat the clerk at the checkout counter like a real person. Whatever word we use for God, if we decide to be open and receptive, we find God in the little details of our lives. Spiritual awakening is a wonderful daily occurrence.

God, open my senses to take in your presence more fully.

Let's walk!


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2/7/16 3:57 A

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2/6/16 10:13 P

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Pride works from within; it is the direct appreciation of oneself.

—Arthur Schopenhauer


Pride, like all emotions, has two faces: one healthy and one sick. It is our challenge to use the healthy side well. Sick pride fills us with ourselves, looks down on others, and has no room for generosity. Healthy pride is heavy with humility. If we can feel joyful when we succeed, and tell others about it honestly, we are not being boastful.

Sick pride often keeps us from doing things because we are too proud to ask for help when we need it, or too proud to risk failure, or too proud to do anything that might not turn out perfect. Healthy pride about our greatest victories always comes with the awareness that we did not do it all by ourselves. We had the aid, advice, and encouragement of loved ones. In all things that really count, we never walk alone. Even those who claim pride is not a virtue admit that it is the parent of many virtues. What makes me proud of myself today?

Let's walk!


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2/5/16 7:01 P

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2/5/16 8:41 A

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

When I am lonely, I try to think of angels.
--Betty MacDonald

We need comfort when we feel lonely. Loneliness is often coupled with fear. We wonder, Can I handle what faces me today? Often we think we can't. But we don't ever have to face any situation alone, or handle any painful relationship in isolation. The "angels" who guide and protect us are as close as our thoughts.

Twelve Step programs give us the freedom to define our Higher Power in any way that suits us. Believing our Higher Power is an angel satisfies our need to have someone watching over us, protecting us wherever we are, loving us despite our failings.

We are nurtured or harmed by the thoughts we carry in our minds. Imagining an angel or a ring of angels to walk us through each day relieves our loneliness and dissipates our fears.

I have a friend in my Higher Power. We'll be together throughout this day.

Let's walk!


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2/4/16 10:10 P

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2/4/16 8:45 A

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

Reflection for the Day

Today I'll try to settle for less than I wish were possible, and be willing to not only accept it but to appreciate it. Today, I'll not expect too much of anyone - especially myself. I'll try to remember that contentment comes from gratefully accepting the good that comes to us, and not from being furious at life because it's not "better." Do I realize the difference between resignation and realistic acceptance?

Today I Pray

May I not set my sights unrealistically high, expect too much. May I look backwards long enough to see that my self-set, impossible goals were the trappings of my addiction; too often I ended up halfway there, confronted by my own failure. Those "foiled-again," "I've-failed-again" feelings became monumental excuses to give in to my compulsion, which blanketed my miseries. May I avoid that sick old pattern. May I be realistic.

Today I Will Remember

Good is good enough.


Let's walk!


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2/3/16 12:32 P

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2/3/16 11:28 A

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

Did you ever get a punch card from a coffee shop? If you buy nine coffees, you get the tenth free. Even though you're not paying for it, you know this purchase isn't free. The price was factored into earlier purchases. But still, getting something free is sweet. We feel like we deserve what's handed to us.

Have you ever had the experience of moving into an apartment or house, and even though it looked okay, the decorating wasn't yours? I've got to do something to make this mine, you think, even if it's just painting a wall.

Many things in life are like that. They don't feel like ours and we don't feel like we deserve them until we put time and effort into them. Then we feel like they belong to us.

In Alcoholics Anonymous, there are no dues, or fees. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stay sober. But we do certain things. We work the Steps. We go to meetings. We work with other alcoholics. And although our sobriety is a gift from God, we begin to feel like we deserve sobriety by working to make it ours.

Most of us like the concept of getting something for free. But little in life can compare to feeling like we deserve what we've earned.

Let's walk!


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2/2/16 11:42 P

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2/2/16 1:13 P

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2/2/16 8:51 A

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

Search out shortcomings and correct them.
--Anonymous

One of the hardest things to do is to look at our own shortcomings when we are angry at someone. It seems impossible to believe at such times that something may be wrong with us. This is the reason we are so often instructed to count to ten. When we find ourselves so out of sorts, so internally disrupted, there is usually something wrong with us.

It is our first obligation to take care of ourselves. It is out of love for ourselves that we withdraw and take a spot check inventory. The spot check inventory does not demean or humiliate us. On the contrary, the purpose is to speak with God briefly, check our vital signs, and clean out our connections.

I always need my connection with God. Nothing works without a clear, clean, strong, conscious contact with my Higher Power.

Let's walk!


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2/1/16 11:57 P

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2/1/16 6:55 P

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2/1/16 10:39 A

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

Action carries us in the direction we choose.

Recovery involves doing - going to meetings working our program, reaching out to others. We don't get a job by sitting at home thinking about it, and we don't get a degree by looking at college catalogs.

It's true that we need to reflect; we need quiet times when we pray for guidance. There comes a point, however, when action is called for, when we use the power we are given to carry out our Higher Power's will for our lives to the best of our understanding.

One action leads to another. Doing what we need to do to be abstinent today adds 24 hours to recovery.

Today, I will act on my best understanding of my Higher Power's will or me.

Let's walk!


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1/31/16 8:55 P

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Thank you. Very timely for me.

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1/31/16 12:34 P

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1/31/16 9:17 A

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

Believe more deeply. Hold your face up to the light, even though for the moment you do not see.
--Bill Wilson

At times, despair, sadness, and hopelessness fill us. None of us will get out of this world without experiencing tragedy. At these times, we turn to our Higher Power and the spiritual principles as guides. At these times, especially, we turn to the fellowship. We are here to help each other, comfort each other, and offer sanctuary to each other. We are to be each other’s gifts.

During our active addiction, when troubles came, we turned inward, pretending everything was okay. We acted as if we needed no one – mainly because we trusted no one. We were surrounded by darkness, inside and out. Recovery teaches us to trust in the “Light,” to believe it is there even when we can’t see it. It may be as close as our next meeting or a phone call to our sponsor. In this, we must believe deeply.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, I look to You when I can’t see. Show me the Light. I look to You for the guidance I cannot give myself. Show me the way and give me hope. Higher Power, thank You!

Today's Action

Today I will remember a time during my active addiction when I felt hopeless. I will reflect on what I learned from this and share my thoughts with a recovery friend.

Let's walk!


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1/31/16 5:43 A

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1/30/16 11:00 P

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emoticon emoticon I've never heard that before.

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1/30/16 9:20 A

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

Where There is Charity and Wisdom
---- St. Francis of Assisi (paraphrased)

Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance.
Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor annoyance.
Where there is love and joy, there is neither greed nor selfishness.
Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt.

Let's walk!


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1/29/16 4:09 P

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1/29/16 8:51 A

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

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

Understanding circumstances, other people, even ourselves, comes with the passage of time and our willingness to be open to all the lessons contained within a moment. We must be willing to participate fully in the events that have requested our attendance. Then we can discover the longed-for clarity about life and our role in it. Immersion in the moment accompanied by reflective quiet times promises a perspective that offers us wisdom.

We all long for happiness, an easier life, and wisdom. We learn so slowly that both happiness and the easier life are generally matters of attitude. Therein lies our sought-after wisdom. How much simpler it makes living through even our most feared experiences when we have acquired the wisdom to know that the mind we carry into the moment, any moment, will be reflected in the outcome.

It takes patience and willingness to live fully enough to reap the benefits that accompany wisdom.

Let's walk!


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1/28/16 9:46 P

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1/28/16 8:49 A

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

Believing in change

At first, drugs or booze turned us on; later they turned on us. We couldn't find any peace anywhere. We began turning into the kind of person we didn't want to be, but we didn't know what was happening to us or how to change.

When we came to believe that our lives could and would turn around if we quit drinking or using; things began to get better.

Do I believe I can change?

Higher Power, help me to be open minded and humble enough to believe that what has worked to change the lives of others will work to change mine.


Let's walk!


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1/27/16 2:27 P

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1/27/16 11:09 A

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

Gaining peace of mind

Even though many of us were certainly ready to take the First Step - to admit that we were addicts - we balked at taking the following eleven steps. We felt it would be ridiculous or too much work, or we denied the existence of a Higher Power.

When we started to hurt bad or began to reach for that first fix, pill, or drink, we woke up. We remembered and longed for the promise of peace of mind contained in those Steps. The PROMISE! Then we made a decision to work these Steps and to earn that promise.

Do I have peace of mind? Higher Power, the plan is up to You; the decision is up to me.

God help me to stay clean and sober today.

Let's walk!


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1/26/16 8:17 P

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Thank you for this.

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1/26/16 2:50 P

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1/26/16 8:49 A

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

Hope is always available to us. When we feel defeated, we need only take a deep breath and say,"Yes," and hope will reappear.
-- Monroe Forester

Coastal redwoods are the planet's most enduring lifework. A fallen coastal redwood will sprout anew within three weeks. Small trees can endure more than 400 years beneath a closed forest canopy without losing their ability to grow rapidly if and when that canopy is opened.

We can be like that, too. No matter how painful our life may have been, we always have the internal resources to heal and grow into happiness. We now have the strength, insight, and spiritual tools. This combination teaches us that there is no unhappiness too great to be made better. Opening ourselves up to the miracles of recovery, we step from the dark of negativity into the light of possibility and abundance. It doesn't happen all at once, but it does happen - one day at a time.

Today let me have complete faith that my unhappiness will be removed as I work the steps of my program.

Let's walk!


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1/25/16 7:54 P

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1/25/16 11:07 A

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

The true use of speech is not so much to express our wants as to conceal them.
--Oliver Goldsmith

Learning to communicate, for little children, means squeezing huge desires into little words, like "hurt" or "cookie." We learn early that we're only going to get part of what we want.

Some of us never recover from this disappointment. We use words to manipulate others, to hide our feelings. We may imagine that we have the power to control others, and so we tell ingenious stories to mask what we think is our naked strength.

But we're deluding ourselves, rather than other people. The strategy of falsehood and control finally traps us in a web of lies, where even we don't know what we want. Clarity is a choice, and so is happiness, if we want to choose them.

Asking for something is risky: I might be refused. But if I don't even ask, I'll never hear "yes."

Let's walk!


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1/25/16 3:55 A

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1/24/16 9:44 P

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emoticon I needed that.

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1/24/16 9:27 A

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

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
-- Raymond Lindquist

Coeur is the French word for "heart." When we act with courage, we act from our hearts, not our heads alone. We boldly do what feels right. We may be scared if we're going against the grain, but we have confidence and faith supporting our actions.

Being courageous does not require going into battle -- we do not have to be saving someone's life. It takes a lot of courage just to be honest with ourselves and others, to decide to change behaviors, and to leave destructive relationships.

Today I will pray for courage.

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1/23/16 1:00 P

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1/23/16 9:08 A

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

God will wait as long as it takes for us.
-- Rev. R. Walters

Whenever we try to understand, analyze, or probe too much into the reasons for love, we damage it. All that can really be done with love is accept it.

God loves us. We are loved. Regardless of all painful experiences we may have had that convinced us love never lasts, or that love may be fine for others but it just doesn't work for us - regardless of what we may have learned of love - God loves us.

There is a lovely parable in Scripture about the lost sheep and the steadfast love of the shepherd. When the one sheep became lost, as the parable goes, the shepherd did not simply write it off as the cost of doing business. The shepherd searched diligently until the lost sheep was found. No mention is made of scolding, abuse, or punishment - simply the joy the shepherd felt at finding one of his own that was lost.

We are as loved as that lost sheep; and, at times, as lost. Whether we feel we are worth it or not, the Shepherd patiently, faithfully searches us out. We cannot outrun God's reach.

Today, I ask God to deepen my faith.

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1/22/16 3:22 P

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1/22/16 10:50 A

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

Finding Joy

In the revelation of life (not in booze, pills, or junk), our first joy is the very fact that we are alive. Next, we find gladness and joy in our daily activities and accomplishments.

Soon we discover the joy of service to others. Later our happiness widens when we learn to share the joys of our brothers and sisters. And finally, we find joy in our Higher Power.

Am I finding joy?

Higher Power, may I experience joy in the world around me; joy in being myself.

Let's walk!


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1/21/16 12:50 P

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1/21/16 11:53 A

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

Man, like the bridge, was designed to carry the load of the moment, not the combined weight of a year at once.
--William A. Ward

When trouble tumbles down on us, we are easily overwhelmed. We see problems facing us in the future, and mountains of work to do. We look at the past and see the pain and struggle of addiction. Looking at all this, we might feel despair. We can't handle it. We want to run. Our thoughts begin to spin; we feel caught in a whirlwind. We feel we will break.

Then, softly, we hear the words of our Twelve Step program: "One day at a time." We find we can slow down and take a moment to let the peace of our Higher Power touch us. Now we can take one small step at a time. We can begin the task before us – doing the next right thing. By slowing down and taking action, we stop the spinning and find calm. We find that, like the bridge, we can handle the stress of the moment. And one day at a time, we can find serenity.

Today help me to stay focused on life, one moment at a time. Help me to hear the soft voice of recovery.

Let's walk!


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1/21/16 5:22 A

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1/20/16 9:22 P

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Great stuff. Thanks!

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1/20/16 8:33 A

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

You've got to create a dream.
You've got to uphold the dream.
If you can't, go back to the factory
or go back to the desk.
--Eric Burdon

We develop goals, priorities, and action steps. We feel energized and ready to move full speed ahead. But midway, as our momentum picks up, new thoughts enter our mind. Do I really want this? What if it creates new problems for me? If I reach this goal, I'll have nothing to look forward to.

Being wishy-washy gets us nowhere. These thoughts are the ego's way of looking for obstacles. We acknowledge the doubts and then quickly cast them aside and move forward with complete conviction, like a warrior. If the goal still feels right, we keep moving ahead. We know in our hearts that doing what we believe in keeps us on the right path.

Today I will believe in my goals.

Let's walk!


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1/19/16 5:16 P

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1/19/16 9:04 A

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

Today was like a shadow. It lurked behind me. It's now gone forever. Why is it that time is such a difficult thing to befriend?
--Mary Casey

Each passing minute is all that we are certain of having. The choice is ever present to relish the moment, reaping fully whatever its benefits, knowing that we are being given just what we need each day of our lives. We must not pass up what is offered today.

Time accompanies us like a friend, though often a friend denied or ignored. We can't recapture what was offered yesterday. It's gone. All that stands before us is here, now.

We can nurture the moment and know that the pain and pleasures offered us with each moment are our friends, the teachers our inner selves await. And we can be mindful that this time, this combination of events and people, won't come again. They are the gift of the present. We can be grateful.

We miss the opportunities the day offers because we don't recognize the experiences as the lessons designed for the next stage of our development. The moment's offerings are just, necessary, and friendly to our spiritual growth.

I will take today in my arms and love it. I will love all it offers; it is a friend bearing gifts galore.

Let's walk!


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1/18/16 10:48 P

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Beautiful. emoticon

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1/18/16 10:37 A

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