Thank you Deb -- for being so kind!
Making a gratitude list: (from my perspective)
I started making gratitude lists -- not because I was looking for any kind of result or reward. I simply did it because I was told to do it.
I went to meetings not expecting and not believing that they would help me at all. I went because that's what I had been told to do.
I read the book and took the Steps -- not because I was looking for any kind of result or reward -- I didn't believe for one minute that it was going to help me! If I had any faith at all -- my faith was "this A.A. stuff isn't going to work for me." But, I did it anyway -- because that's what I had been told to do.
If you think it's easy -- for an alcoholic of my type -- "to do what I was told to do" -- or to even follow "suggestions" -- think again!!!
I would have to say,that for myself -- the willingness to do what I was told to do -- rather than what I wanted or didn't want to do -- and to actually do it -- was as equally hard as it was to get sober. It wasn't easy.
Today, when I make a gratitude list -- I still don't do it for any specific results or rewards -- I simply do it because that's what I learned to do.
When I go to meetings, read the book, or continue to practice the Steps, and take others through the Steps, and make 12 Step calls -- I still don't do that to get any particular results or rewards. I do it because that's what I learned to do.
So far -- what I learned to do has been doing me good. It's been working for the last 20 years. It's kept me sober. It's given me freedom. It's produced happy, joyous and free -- in addition to a new me!
And even though I like the results that it produces -- I don't do it for the results.
I do it because that's what I learned to do.
Once upon a time -- I started thinking about this spiritual principle: "Give without expecting anything in return." Give just to be giving. Not expecting anything in return. So -- I told myself to do it. And, I learned something new. And, I did something new. And, today -- I give not expecting anything in return -- because that's what I learned to do.
I think that there is something similar in the principles of giving without expecting anything in return -- and taking actions -- and following direction -- just like making gratitude lists, etceteras....
1. I don't have to think about it. It has become habit through discipline. It has produced structure in my life -- and it is structured.
2. When I think about what I'm doing or why I'm doing it -- it usually screws up my head.
3. When I start expecting particular results -- and those results dont show up -- I have to be careful -- because it could cause me to be resentful, and start asking "where's mine!!!!"
When I think about something more than I do something -- I tend to "anal-eyes" it -- until I realize that I'm having difficulty breathing because my head is up my butt!!!
Just do it! You'll be glad you did!