Oh the gratitude list. I challenge you to find one person who works the program of Alcoholics Anonymous who has never written one. I have rarely started one while in a good mood, but I often end up in one. It’s a tool I learned to help get through tough moments. They have the power to put you in a better mood, give you an “attitude of gratitude” as they say. It seems to be a subtle way to redirect my thinking, helping me see the world in a better light.
Let me take this moment to share an eye awakening moment a friend of mine in recovery shared with me.
One winter night my friend stepped outside. She immediately cursed the weather for being so cold. It was freezing! She walked out to pursue her task. Suddenly, she looked up, and was awestruck as she gazed at the bright stars. The clear night had illuminated God's wondrous twinkling miracles. She then remembered that only a split second ago, she had cursed the night for penetrating her with the blustery weather. Now she was thanking it for showing just how beautiful it can be. Her thought was this - "There is always something to be grateful for, and always something to complain about. If only I could live life with the former mindset instead of the latter, imagine how great life would be!"
Two opposing views, same cold starry night.
It all depends on where we focus our thoughts. If only I could live every moment in awe of the miracles that surround me daily. It's all about perception. Page 84 of the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous states, "Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change." This is not something that could happen to some, it is a promise guaranteed to all who thoroughly follow our path. I strive today to live with an attitude of gratitude, but it doesn’t always happen as I get caught up in the grumblings of everyday life. However I do the best I can do, because that is all I can do.
I do it because it works.
I do it because I live a life of recovery.