- Attitude of Gratitude

Attitude of Gratitude




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Attitude of Gratitude

Postby carol1017 » Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:25 pm

I was recently asked if I thought a Gratitude List was the answer to everything. I admit, I get a little carried away with talking about gratitude, and gratitude lists, but I honestly think this oft-forgotten little task (usually assigned by a sponsor) keeps me sober. How?

Being grateful reminds me that I did not achieve sobriety on my own -- I had the help of my Higher Power and AA. It automatically creates a sense of humility. It takes me out of myself.

When I first came to AA, someone told me that every night I should say “Thank you for keeping me sober todayâ€
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Postby Dallas » Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:56 am

Making a short gratitude list as part of my daily Steps 10 & 11, help to discipline me to making a gratitude list in fair weather and in foul. :lol:

Thanks for your message Carol. I enjoyed it!!!

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Postby anniemac » Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:08 pm

A few years ago I started a gratitude list ~ with a small twist. The 3 things I wrote had to be new items on the list....I didn't repeat prior gratitudes. So, I could not write "my house" "my car" "my job" every day. Some days I really had to dig down deep to come up with 3 new things for which I was grateful. Sometimes it was being grateful for not yelling at anyone that day or for the hot water that heated my shower that morning. Doing it that way, with no repeats, helped me to really appreciate the little things in life.
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Postby carol1017 » Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:09 pm

Annie, I try to do the same thing with my list now.

Early in sobriety, it was harder to come up with 3 things I was grateful for -- I was going through a lot of grieving over the loss of alcohol, and had no idea how to survive without it. Once I got through that stage and realized that there was, indeed, life after booze, I was far more aware of all the gifts around me.

For me, the gratitude list was a great starting point in learning how to change my thinking and making me more willing to do the work the steps required.
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Postby anniemac » Mon Jul 09, 2007 4:53 pm

There have been times where there was a great disconnect between my head and my heart. I could write a gratitude list a mile long, and say to myself, "I know I should be grateful, but....". My head was quite aware of all the gifts in my life. My heart, however, was not feeling gratitude.

As Carol said, a gratitude list was a great way for me to start to learn how the change my thinking...but I didn't find it to "create" gratitude for me if I didn't have it at that moment.

Looking back, I think the think that helped me the most in feeling grateful was meditation of some sort - when I could actually feel the connection between myself and all other things was when I'd be filled with the warmth of gratitude.
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Postby DebbieV » Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:26 pm

DALLAS WROTE
And, God -- thank you!!!! Thank you for A.A. Thank you for the Fellowship of the Spirit, thank you for the Big Book, and thank you, that we have each other to help each other!!!! Thank you for your Love, and Mercy, and Patience, and Guidance, and all of your help that you give to each of us. And, thank you for my sobriety, too!!!!

Dallas


that sums it up for me, I could add much more but I will leave it at that for now.
Thanks Dallas for your gift with words.
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Postby Dallas » Sun Jul 29, 2007 1:37 am

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. :lol:

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. :lol: 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!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Just do it! You'll be glad you did!

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Postby DebbieV » Sun Jul 29, 2007 3:43 pm

I was reading the forum this morning at the park, while my brother and my son were walking laps. I saw Dallas say 'just do it' so I made my first Gratitude list, and I have to tell you that I wasnt that impressed, I thought as big as my ego was I would have a 10 page list. I put the list down and sat on the beach watching this squirl running around while I spitting sunflower seeds all over the place ( I'm trying to stop smoking and seeds keeps my mind off cigs ) so I threw a little down to the squirl and he would come up and eat them with his little paws standing on his hind legs, I was so in awe of this little squirl that I sat and did that for about an hour ( damn thing ate all my seeds :lol: ) and I got to thinking back to my Gratitude list and for me, it wasnt what was on the list, its like everything else that seems to be happening in this program, I learn to start thinking different than I did before. I would have never thought to put a squirl on my list, hell I would'nt have thought to be gratefull of a squirl, but I did and I was. :D :D :D :D

There is so much to learn and so much that makes me happy that I am willing to at least go to the length as to listen and do what people say has worked for them. Can't say I am willing every time but I can say I am more than not. I would like to say I'm willing to go to any length: meaning reading, steps, God, meetings, meetings I dont like etc, and I think for the most part I am. So thank God It says WILLING and not just "go to any length" or I may be in trouble. :oops:
Once again thank you guys for reminding me where my head needs to be as well as what my feet need to be doing.
Hope everyone is having a GREAT Sunday.
Deb
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Postby anniemac » Sun Jul 29, 2007 4:06 pm

Debbie, I have to tell you that squirrells were so important to my early sobriety!! I worked from home when I got sober, and sometimes work was slow, but I had to be home to answer the work phone if it rang, so I felt kind of trapped. So I started to take notice of the squirrells that frolic around my yard and I began to take such joy in watching them! Watching a squirrell sit up on its hind legs and nibble at an acorn is such a beautiful and adorable thing. I remember going on in meetings about how grateful I was for the squirrels; folks musta thought I was a tad squirrelly myself :oops: . Glad to hear that I'm not the only one!! :lol:
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Postby DebbieV » Sun Jul 29, 2007 6:03 pm

anniemac wrote:Debbie, I have to tell you that squirrells were so important to my early sobriety!! I started to take notice of the squirrells that frolic around my yard and I began to take such joy in watching them! Watching a squirrell sit up on its hind legs and nibble at an acorn is such a beautiful and adorable thing. I remember going on in meetings about how grateful I was for the squirrels; folks musta thought I was a tad squirrelly myself :oops: . Glad to hear that I'm not the only one!! :lol:


Its funny to me how things enter my mind that never did in 38 years and I post it on here and find that others feel and think the same way. I am so glad for this forum and the people on it, you guy show and teach me so many things, how to spell squirrell for instance. :lol: :lol: :lol: .
Thanks so much Annie I love to read all that you write.
Keep watching thoes squirrells. It was a gift that I plan on taking advantage of again real soon.
Deb
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