Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences on this topic.
You helped produce a vital Spiritual Experience for me!
Early in my sobriety, as a newcomer in A.A., my daily Gratitude List literally saved my butt over and over and over again. It's a daily routine of my actions... that I've let become inactive... probably because I have such smaller problems today than the problems I had when I first came to AA, and was first getting sober.
Life is much better today. And, I realized through your sharing, my life would be even better today... if I'll get back to doing the daily gratitude lists.
Here's more of my "Moment of Clarity" that you helped produce.
Recently, I've lost most of the vision in my left eye as a result of glaucoma, that I didn't know I had.
I thought (misdiagnosed my problem) it was a cataract and I'd simply have it whacked off to get my vision back. The doc said "Wrong! It's permanently gone."
This weekend I'm heading down to Hot Springs, Arkansas, for the Old Granddad AA Convention... (a really big deal for me)... and my eyes are totally red from the drops that I have to put in them, my pupils get dialated so that it looks like I'm on drugs or something... a big ### looking thing grew in my eye yesterday... and I look kind of like a stoned out monster... but I really am sober!!!
Talk about Ego smashing???? I'll really be able to impress them this time!
And, as I was reading your message... the thought suddenly came to me, that: "Dallas... why haven't you been practicing gratitude for your eye problems?"
Now... I know that really sounds corny to include my eye problems on my gratitude list... but it's one of the key principles that was passed on to me by some fellow AA'ers in my early recovery... "Learn to have gratitude for everything. And, when you can't do that... at least fake it till you make it and do it any way! Eventually, you'll see why we're telling you to do this!"
So, they had me learning to take actions and practice gratitude for ALL THINGS... not just the things that I thought were good... but, also for the things that I thought was a problem and was bad. (Kind of like how we offer to God, our whole selves, good and bad... in the 7th Step Prayer).
My early gratitude lists saved my butt. It helped in producing the vital psychic change that was necessary for me to recover. And, it make my life a whole lot better.
So, now... I guess I'll look like a goofy One-Eyed-Purple-People-Eater in Hot Springs, in the middle of a couple thousand A.A.'s ... and me doing dumb things like being being grateful that I'll look ugly and have eye problems!!!
By the way... my sponsor tells me "Don't be so stupid. Other AA's are not looking at your eyes and thinking about you... they're too busy thinking about themselves to give a damn about your eyes! Stop thinking about yourself and move on to something else."
Gratitude. And, I really am grateful for all of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GardenVariety wrote:I've added a couple things to my daily "end-of-day" inventory that I picked up from a Jesuit priest. It's part of the spiritual excercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. But it's more like a universal spiritual principle than Catholic dogma. I guess you could say this is somewhere within step 10 and step 11. I ask my Higher Power a couple questions as I review my day from morning until evening.
"What have I done that was constructive?"
"What have I done that pleased you most?"
That's in our Big Book, too... pages 84-88. Obviously St. Ignatius had a big influence on the Pioneers of AA.