Let everyone sweep in front of his [or her] own door, and the whole world will be clean.

–Goethe

Taking care of ourselves rather than trying to control others may be difficult. Our character defects may lead us to believe we should take responsibility for the actions of others. Sometimes we may feel we know how a spouse, co-worker, or friend should act. We may even go so far as to tell someone what he or she should do or do it for them.

Tonight we can reflect on our actions of today. Did we cover up another’s behavior, or tell someone what to do, or take control of something that was not our responsibility? We need to realize that taking charge of another’s life is not beneficial to anyone. Focusing on another’s life keeps us from looking at ours. Doing for others what they should be doing for themselves takes away valuable lessons for growth.

What would happen if everyone in a classroom were the teacher? Who would listen and learn? Who would mature and grow? The teacher in our lives is our Higher Power. Let us respect our instructor and let our Higher Power do the guiding while we grow.

Help me listen and learn and let go of controlling others.

Naturally, I am a controlling person. I like to be in control. I am also a perfectionist. When I was drinking and using, these character defects were at the forefront of my personality almost always. Today, I have learned that I don’t need to be in control. I have learned that being in control and being a perfectionist is exhausting. I have learned to do my best and let God do the rest. I have learned to surrender and let things play out. If I try to get involved and tell people what to do, I am getting in the way of their journey. I can give suggestions, but I don’t need to be in control. I have also learned to take suggestions. I have learned that I just need to keep my side of the street clean, do the best I can, and let things play out the way they are supposed to.

Reflection for the Day

When a person says something rash or ugly, we sometimes say they are “forgetting themselves,” meaning they’re forgetting their best selves in a sudden outburst of uncontrolled fury. If I remember the kind of person I want to be, hopefully I won’t “forget myself” and yield to a fit of temper. I’ll believe that the positive always defeats the negative: courage overcomes fear; patience overcomes anger and irritability; love overcomes hatred. Am I always striving for improvement?

Today I Pray

Today I ask that God, to Whom all things are possible, will help me turn negatives into positives – anger into super-energy, fear into a chance to be courageous, hatred into love. May I take time out to remember examples of such positive-from-negative transformations from the whole of my lifetime. Uppermost is God’s miracle: my freedom from the slavery of addiction.

Today I Will Remember

Turn negatives into positives.

I am full of gratitude today. I am grateful for the good things and grateful for the things that seem to be bad. Everything always works out the way it’s supposed to, and I am not in control. As long as I stay grateful, I will continue down my path of clean and sober living. I’ve gone through a lot of things which seem to be negative while in sobriety. All of those things seemed to be negative at the time. However, looking back I can be grateful because my life is what it is today and I am who I am today because of all of my experiences.

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.”

I have been sober since March 2011, and I plan on keeping my sobriety date. I do not have the desire to drink or do drugs today, and as long as I stay connected to the program of AA, I keep on working a program of recovery, and I stay spiritually fit, it will be unlikely that the urge to drink or do drugs will resurface. I do have problems today and I have learned to live life on life’s terms. I have lots of friends in recovery that I can turn to when I need feedback or support. My friends in recovery give me the suggestions that help me make the right decisions. I need my friends from AA. I need my sponsor. And I need people to tell me what to do.

 

 

The winds of change blow through our life, sometimes gently, sometimes like a tropical storm. Yes, we have resting places – time to adjust to another level of living, time to get our balance, time to enjoy the rewards. We have time to catch our breath.

But change is inevitable, and desirable.

Sometimes, when the winds of change begin to rustle, we’re not certain the change is for the better. We may call it stress or a temporary condition, certain we’ll be restored to normal. Sometimes, we resist. We tuck our head down and buck the wind, hoping that things will quickly calm down, get back to the way things were. Is it possible we’re being prepared for a new “normal”?

Change will sweep through our life, as needed, to take us where we’re going. We can trust that our Higher Power has a plan in mind, even when we don’t know where the changes are leading.

We can trust that the change-taking place is good. The wind will take us where we need to go.

Today, help me, God, to let go of my resistance to change. Help me be open to the process. Help me believe that the place I’ll be dropped off will be better than the place where I was picked up. Help me surrender, trust, and accept, even if I don’t understand.

This is a great reading for me today! The path of least resistance is always easier. The path of least resistance is easier than change. However, change is sometimes needed. Change is how I get from point A to point B. I have to leave point A to get to point B. It is uncomfortable and scary to leave point A. When I leave point A, I am all alone. Being all alone can be scary and stressful. However, I need to remember to have faith. If I surrender and have faith that everything will work out the way its supposed to, then life is much easier and I am much happier. Staying in an unhealthy relationship can be the path of least resistance. Staying in an unhealthy relationship means that I have the comfort of being with a person that is familiar. We already have a connection. It is less work because we already know each other, we know about each other, likes and dislikes, etc. However, in the long run, staying in an unhealthy relationship is not good for either party. We all want to be happy, joyous, and free. Prayer and meditation, getting feedback from my sponsor and other guys in the program, and following my intuition will help me make the tough decisions to make changes in my life. Sometimes change needs to happen in order for God’s will to be done. I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year, I just need to surrender, trust, accept, and do the next indicated thing.