Growth is the only Evidence of Life

Growth is the only evidence of life.

–John, Cardinal Newman

We should be thankful we can never reach complete serenity. If we could, we would never have the need to improve ourselves. We would stop growing, because there would be no reason to learn any more than we already know, and we would become bored. Even the things which seem so serene in nature usually contain a struggle within. A lake, with a swan gliding slowly across it, seems a perfect picture of serenity. But, unseen below the surface, fish, turtles, and frogs struggle each day for survival.

The important thing is to accept the struggles as a part of the beauty of life, not as blemishes on it.

There is either growth or decay. It is not possible for a living organism to be totally stagnant. A person is always changing, either changing for the better or changing for the worse. This is true when it comes to the mind, body, and spirit. A person is either becoming more spiritually fit or less spiritually fit. A person is either becoming closer to God or further away from God. A person is either getting closer to a drink or drug or further away from a drink or drug. My experience is that if I am working a 12-step program of recovery, I stay spiritually fit. Working a program of recovery to me means morning prayer and meditation, being grateful for things in my life, going to meetings, talking to my sponsor, being of service, and reaching out to another alcoholic. I am grateful that I have learned to be in acceptance and to live life on life’s terms. I am grateful that life is not perfect. I am grateful that I am sober and thinking clearly.

The Most Wasted of Days is one Without Laughter

Today’s thought from Hazelden is:


The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

–E. E. Cummings


One of the true gifts of recovery is that we learn to laugh again. No matter how beat up our spirits have been by our addiction, no matter how heavy or hard our hearts have become, one day we find ourselves laughing. The lightness in our hearts lets us know life is good.


It may happen in a meeting as we suddenly stop taking ourselves so seriously. It may happen as we learn to socialize again and share a joke or score a goal in a group of our new friends. It may happen as we look into the eyes of someone who loves us and our hearts bubble over with joy.


Laughter heals us. It is one of our heart’s songs. There is always some in our life, somewhere – and we need only look in order to find it.


Prayer for the Day


Higher Power, please give me something today that will tickle me with joy or humor. Help me give in to the urge to laugh. I know my laughter is music to your ears.


Today’s Action


When I notice something to laugh or smile about today, I will share it with others. Humor and joy are meant to be shared.


Notes on today’s thought from Hazelden:


Laughter is one of the things that keeps me coming back. I remember going to my first AA meeting and experiencing the laughter that takes place at a meeting. I remember pulling into the parking lot of my first AA meeting, and seeing a group of about fifty people in front of the church laughing, smiling, and having a good time. My first thought was, “why are all of these people so happy? What is so funny and why are they all laughing?” I thought that life was over because now I was going to be sober. There was nothing to be happy about because I wasn’t going to be able to drink or drug. Not drinking at a football game or while watching a football game did not sound like fun. What about the weekends? What was I going to do if I wasn’t out drinking with my friends? What about holidays and New Year’s Eve? What I have learned in recovery is that life is so much better being sober. I have learned how to laugh and be happy while sober. This is genuine happiness and genuine laughter. One of the reasons that I love going to meetings is because of the joy and laughter that takes place. My life is better than it has ever been today and I owe it all to my sobriety. I’m grateful today for the joy and the laughter that I have in my life. I’m grateful today that I don’t have the need or the desire for a drink or drink to promote my search for happiness.