• Hazelden Renewal Center

Lessening Divisiveness – Polarization, Prejudice and Hatred – in Ourselves

lessening divisiveness

A house divided against itself cannot stand. —Abraham Lincoln We live in the most divisive of times. Political parties hardly talk to each other. Sports teams are divided between the winners and losers. People can lose entire careers for an incorrect political opinion. Too many of us are alienated from each other: Rich and poor, city and rural people, Liberal and Conservatives, Pro-choice and Pro-life believers, white people versus people of color, men versus women, church goers versus atheists, and the list goes on and on. It’s like none of us can get along with each other and there seems … Continue reading

Choosing Gratitude Over Alienation

choosing gratitude over alienation

“Our life begins to end the day we stop being grateful.” -Anonymous It’s that time of year when many of us gather with loved ones intending to give thanks. We experience tender moments with family or at least what we hope will be tender moments. Too often we’ve become disappointed as the actual closeness with family is less than what we had wished for. Sometimes old hurtful patterns still menace us. Perhaps we should have known better; hope always springs eternal. This holiday letdown may be the story of our life. Our heart may have been open to love in … Continue reading

Why Good Marriages Go Bad

Success in marriage takes vision, focus, and letting go. Good marriages go bad not out of intent, but from misguided actions. These actions unknowingly undermine trust, respect, honesty, and appreciation. Over time, patience is replaced by impatience, excitement by apathy and pleasure by frustration. To prevent this from happening to your marriage learn how to choose your battles, establish a clear relationship vision, show your appreciation and embrace the necessary communication and problem-solving skills to resolve your challenges. Unsuccessful couples often judge those with successful marriages as lucky. What they fail to recognize is the trials and tribulations these couples … Continue reading

The Ties That Bind – Marriage As a Team

If you ever have been part of a winning team, you know what synergy means. It is like magic, When a couple becomes committed to each other, they become a team. It means they leave their respective families and join together to make a new family that is the first family and the roots of a new family tree. It is sort of like a seed that drops on the forest floor and becomes a brand new tree. That seed is no longer attached to the parent tree. It is not a difficult concept. However, it seems to me that … Continue reading

Trust: It Don’t Come Easy

trusting

“A man who doesn’t trust himself can never really trust anyone else” Cardinal De Retz My desire and ability to trust someone seemed unattainable for many years. When I first got into recovery I didn’t trust a soul, including myself, with the possible exceptions being my two young children. The two people I had been able to place my complete trust in to never let me down, my parents, had died a few years after a divorce ridden with betrayal, and I felt very alone. Like most other adults who were over 30, I had been hurt by a few … Continue reading

As Good As It Gets

snowy scene in minneapolis

There are times that feel bigger than life itself. When these times happen, we may be filled with immeasurable inspiration as we escape the usual routines of ordinary living. Many of the tensions of daily stress and world turmoil disappear in the abundance of such special moments. Some magic moments we never forget — the birth of our first born, the day our beloved parent took a last breath, the day we awoke from a coma after a bad car accident, seeing the panorama of colors of the Grand Canyon for the first time, being reunited with beloved old friends … Continue reading

The Insufficiency of Real Love

insufficiency of real love

Most of us are aware of those sublime experiences of life we call love. We may feel uplifted in being more than we already are through the continued tenderness of a loved one. It’s as good as it gets. We may also have magnificent moments when we have transported a dear one to be a better person through our efforts at kindness. The power of such caring may live in our memories for years as we witness the Higher Power of real love. But what if love is not enough? Sometimes, it just isn’t. It’s no wonder then, that we … Continue reading

Being Our Brother’s Keeper: A Road to Hope

brother's keeper

These days many of us are having a hard time finding hope. Some of us are overwhelmed by serious personal problems. Others of us live with a foreboding sense of an uncertain future for ourselves and our children. Looming climate change, increasing inequity between rich and poor, and massive dysfunction in our government all add an eerie shakiness to our lives as if we were in the middle of an earthquake. For safety’s sake we don’t know what ground to stand upon. Adding to our gloominess is the increasing ennui and detachment of modern living where friendships are only experienced … Continue reading

Black Hole in Space Not Unlike Energy of Subtracter’s on Earth

subtracters

I just had a personal encounter with a black hole, It was the strangest thing; I bought a tube of lipstick, tucked it into a small pocket but when I went to retrieve the tube, it had vanished. Once again I purchased another tube, stuck it in the same purse pocket, and theorizing the lipstick had spilled out the top of my purse, I mindfully zipped the zipper to seal it shut. This went on several more times, until I finally happened to pick up my purse from the bottom, and felt several strange bumps. When I inspected my purse … Continue reading

How to Keep Your Sanity During the Holidays

how to keep sanity during holidays

I hate the holidays. I know that seems like a strong statement, but — even at nearly six years sober — I still find the holidays incredibly challenging. It’s a time loaded with expectations, increased tensions in relationships, competing priorities, stress, and good old family dynamics. As if that isn’t enough, we can start to feel sensory overload in every direction: sounds, crowds of people, flashing lights, food everywhere. Conscious of my limitations and sensitive nature, I just want to crawl into a ball and hibernate at this time of year. That said — like anything in recovery — we … Continue reading