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Hold the Potatoes
02 January 2009 @ 03:38 pm

Today's thought from Hazelden 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.

You are reading from the book:

Easy Does It by Anonymous

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Hold the Potatoes
01 January 2009 @ 03:33 pm

Today's thought from Hazelden is:

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

--Albert Einstein


It's easy to live as though our problems will just go away. We say tomorrow, next month, or next year will be better. We keep some kernel of hope that things will change, even though we haven't done anything to change things. Herein lies a paradox. We need to be positive, to let go, and to live one day at a time, but we also need to be sensitive to points in our lives that require us to take action.

Before we can begin to get out of a rut, to make positive change, we need to acknowledge that a problem exists in the first place and that we are responsible for doing something about it. When we can pinpoint the problem, we create a new awareness. We're suddenly open to receiving information we previously blocked out. We reach a higher level of thinking regarding our situation.

Today on this New Year's Day
 I will actively seek information about how to help myself or others and will be open to different philosophies.

You are reading from the book:

Letting Go of Debt by Karen Casanova

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Hold the Potatoes
31 December 2008 @ 03:18 pm

Today's thought from Hazelden is:

May you live all the days of your life.
--Jonathan Swift

Tonight, at midnight, a new year will begin. None of us know what the new year will hold. But we can trust ourselves to hold on to the spirit of recovery as we go through the year. As a new year is about to begin, we can rejoice in our new way of life. We can give our will and our life to our Higher Power. By doing these things, we'll be ready for the new year.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, I pray that I'll start the new year safe in Your loving arms, I pray that I'll keep working my program.

Action for the Day

Tonight, at midnight, I'll say the Serenity Prayer. I will think of all the others who will join me in my prayer. We are a recovering community.

You are reading from the book:

Keep It Simple by Anonymous

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Hold the Potatoes
30 December 2008 @ 03:15 pm

Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Has it been a year of growth?

As any year draws to a close, we should reflect on how we have grown in sobriety. We should also identify changes during the year that enabled us to overcome bad habits and to move closer to better patterns of living.

Though we never are guaranteed favorable outcomes, we should always remember that sobriety is its own best reward. We want a full life, of course, but it must begin with a decision to seek and to maintain sobriety at all costs.

We find that with sobriety, lots of other problems seem to solve themselves. Even if they don't, we have the tools to move forward and to achieve goals that always eluded us while we were drinking. Every year in sobriety is a year of growth.

I'll be conscious today of recent improvements I've made in my life and all my affairs. With sobriety, these improvements will go on for a lifetime.

You are reading from the book:

Walk in Dry Places by Mel B.

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Hold the Potatoes
29 December 2008 @ 03:17 pm

Today's thought from Hazelden is:

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

This program is human in its organization, but it is divine in its purpose. The purpose is to point me toward a God of my understanding and the good life. My feet have been set upon the right path. I am going in the right direction. I feel it in the depths of my being. Whatever the future holds, it cannot be too much for me to bear. I have a Divine Power with me to carry me through everything I may encounter. Am I pointed in the right direction for the good life?

MEDITATION FOR THE DAY

Although unseen, the lord is always near to those who believe in,  trust and depend on God for strength. Veiled from mortal sight, the Higher Power is always available if we but ask. The feeling that God is with us never leaves regardless of momentary distractions. We are conscious of God's power and use God's protection as a shield.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY

I pray that today I may feel that God is not too far away to depend on for help. I pray that I may feel confident of God's readiness to give me the power that I need.

You are reading from the book:

Look to this Day by Alan L. Roeck

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Hold the Potatoes
28 December 2008 @ 11:36 am

Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Working today

As we approach a new year, many of us feel fear. We look back on the past and worry about the future. But if we remember we only have today, we can work to make that future better. We have found true friends in our fellowship, and this is a time to be with them.

Am I ensuring a fruitful future by working with all I've got today?

Higher Power, I pray for guidance for today and for freedom from worry about tomorrow.

You are reading from the book:

Day by Day - Second Edition by Anonymous

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Hold the Potatoes
27 December 2008 @ 10:31 am

Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Time is a circle. The end is the beginning.

Day by day, a year comes and goes. Today's end is the beginning of the rest of our lives. We take with us what we have learned today. We are the same and not the same.

As long as we are alive, we will continue to wrestle with questions, seek answers, and solve problems. Let's be gentle with ourselves and others, choosing to respond with non-judging love and acceptance instead of unrealistic demands of perfection.

We have found a blueprint for recovery. Our preoccupation with not enough and too much has led us to a spiritual solution. Each day brings us new opportunities to express our development - a more patient response to a traffic jam, the ability to empathize with a child's embarrassment, the acceptance of a disappointment. Today is another day to learn how to be serene, to nurture body and spirit so that we may function as an integrated totality. We will continue to learn and grow toward recovery.

I will begin and end today by listening to my inner voice.

You are reading from the book:

Inner Harvest by Elisabeth L.

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Hold the Potatoes
26 December 2008 @ 03:08 am

Today's thought from Hazelden is:

Reflection for the Day

None of us can claim to know God in all His fullness. None of us can really claim to understand our Higher Power to any extent. But this I do know: there is Power beyond my human will which can do wonderful, loving things for me that I can't do for myself. I see this glorious power at work in my own being, and I see the miraculous results of this same power in the lives of thousands upon thousands of other recovering people who are my friends in the Program. Do I need the grace of God and the loving understanding any less now than when I began my recovery?

Today I Pray

May I never forget that my spiritual needs are as great today as they were when I came into the Program. It is so easy to look at others, newer to the recovery process, and regard them as the needy ones. As I think of myself as increasingly independent, may I never overlook my dependence on my Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember

I will never outgrow my need for God.

You are reading from the book:

A Day at a Time (Softcover) by Anonymous

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Hold the Potatoes
25 December 2008 @ 09:52 am

Today's thought from Hazelden is:

To him, it was not the gift that mattered, but the giver.
--Walter de La Mare

In our material world today, we often get off track. We forget that what we really need in our lives is love and close friendships. It's too easy to take our relationships for granted. It's also too easy to take our sobriety for granted - the big gift of another chance at life.

For Christians, today marks the birth of Christ, the child who came to bring love and forgiveness to all. Whether we are Christian or not, as recovering people, we know that love and forgiveness do open the gates to new life. When we live in the light of our Higher Power - whether we call that power Jesus, Yahweh, Muhammad, Buddha, or Creator - we find ourselves living that new life.

Let each of us, in the name of our own Higher Power; spend this day in celebration of the new life we have been given.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, thanks for delivering new light into my life and giving me another chance. Teach me to live in the light of love and forgiveness. What a gift.

Today's Action

What gifts of love and forgiveness can I deliver to others today? What can I give from my heart that will bring someone light and joy? A smile and a hug? A phone call? An afternoon of conversation and play? I will remember to contact my sponsor today.

You are reading from the book:

God Grant Me... by Anonymous

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Hold the Potatoes
24 December 2008 @ 11:04 am

Today's thought from Hazelden is:

... [To] take something from yourself, to give to another, that is humane and gentle and never takes away as much comfort as it brings again.
--Thomas More

We take different kinds of pleasure in giving. Perhaps the purest is the gift to a child so young it doesn't really know who the gift came from; the pure joy that the teddy bear or pull-toy produces is our regard, unmixed by any expectation of return.

When children get older, we want something back from them: gratitude, respect. The gift is less pure. When lovers exchange gifts, their pleasure is often tinged with anxiety: Did I give more that I got? Did I get more than I gave? Or with power: He'll always remember where he got that shirt; she owes me something for the fur jacket.

To friends and relations our gifts reflect many things: our appreciation of their lives, our shared memories, our prosperity. We tend to give in a spirit of self-expression.

Perhaps the closest we can come to a pure gift is an anonymous one; a gift of volunteer work, of blood, or a contribution to a charity. Such a gift which can never be acknowledged or returned by those it comforts can heal our spirits when they are wearied by too much ego.

The gift of myself can be a gift to myself.

You are reading from the book:

The Promise of a New Day by Karen Casey and Martha Vanceburg

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