Kind Attention and Appreciation

Experiences along the way that bring us closer to our Higher Power in 12 Step Sobriety and Moments of Clarity.
garden variety
Posts: 750
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm

Kind Attention and Appreciation

Postby garden variety » Thu May 22, 2008 12:36 pm

Hello friends,

Every once in a while, I'll come across an "action" that is suggested in a daily devotional, and it will hit me hard right where I need to be hit. Today I came across a suggestion in my favorite daily reader "In God's Care" which is designed around the 3rd step.

Today the reading suggested that I take an action that really turned me sideways. It said I would be doing a good thing if I told each and every person that I truly appreciate knowing - that I should tell them so - in no uncertain terms. If they cross my path today and I appreciate them - I'm supposed to tell them. I didn't think that would be too hard. But I was wrong.

For me it wasn't easy. There are so many "everyday" ordinary folks that make each day easier for me - and I take them for granted. I told one of my borders this morning before I left for work that I appreciated all that she and her husband does around my house, and I appreciate her. I almost walked out the door without saying it. She smiled and said she was happy to be living in my home - that it was uplifting with all the positive activity - dogs, cat, recovering relations, babies, two-year-olds, and so forth. She "appreciated" me telling her that I appreciated her friendship, and all that she does. I don't know why that was hard, but maybe I was afraid of being vulnerable?

I got to work, and I go for my usual coffee with espresso. There is a fellow who I've been friends with who is the manager, and he is openly gay. He makes no secret of his preferences, and I'm not someone he has an attraction to. But he takes care of me. He gives me a bargain whenever he can for lunch, or if I'm short on cash, he'll let me slide until payday, or he'll just give me a snack for free. I went to lunch today, and he gave me a deal on a couple bowls of soup. I thanked him and we chatted a bit. But you know what, I didn't tell him that I appreciated him. I found myself at my desk feeling almost "convicted". I knew this was an action I needed to take, so I phoned the fellow and told him I appreciated him and his friendship. He told me that he really needed to hear something like that today. I cried. More and more I am turning into the biggest baby that ever walked on two legs.

Then there was the lady who works the coffee counter. Minimum wage, a grandmother who struggles to keep her home in the inner-city. She's one of the sweetest women on the planet with a positive attitude every day, and a giving heart. She always takes care of me - Paul the alcoholic. She gives me free lunches and coffee, and coffee for me to take upstairs to my buddy in the office. I got to thinking about her. A thought that crossed my mind was "What would your life be like if Sharon wasn't a part of it every day?" Once again, I cried. I told her that I appreciated her friendship and all she does for me. She smiled and told me she appreciated me too - I mean a BIG red-faced smile that came straight from her generous and compassionate heart. Priceless.

And here I am on this forum. I would be less than grateful if I didn't mention to each of you, especially Dallas, how much I appreciate reading your words, and how much I appreciate the work that must be done to keep this forum working and helping others.

So if anyone wants to be "challenged" today, I'll suggest for you to do the same thing that was suggested to me. Tell the folks that you appreciate that you appreciate them - right up to their face in no uncertain terms. Be the man or a woman you think you are that cares about others. Not only the alcoholics at the meetings, but the everyday ordinary folks that make your life a better place, like Ed the coffee shop manager, or Sharon the waitress, or Mike and Tina, your roomates.

I'm beginning to see today, that this is really "how it works". It's a spiritual program of action. This is how I "work a program" like we hear so much about in the rooms. I can't just "think" to myself how nice someone else is treating me. It's best for me to "give it away" - to show kind attention and appreciation to those who touch my life and make it a better place - what I get in return is priceless.

May your day be as blessed as mine, or better! :wink:

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Postby Dallas » Thu May 22, 2008 3:26 pm

Thanks Paul. I appreciate you, too. :wink:

What you describe above is how A.A. taught me to behave in public.

Treat others as I would like to be treated.

Stay on the sidewalk -- and don't walk on their grass.

Admire... but, don't pick their flowers.

Be kind, polite, and respectful to all.

Help everyone to feel welcome -- especially the newcomers.

Let others know that you are available to help them, offer to help them, and help them at every opportunity to do so.

Thank the Old-Timers and thank the speaker.

Smile and greet everyone.

Let everyone know that you appreciate them.

Look for what you can bring and give to the meeting and the group -- rather than what you can take from the meeting and the group.

Those are the same things my mother would have wished that I had learned as her son.

My sponsor taught me that those are the ways that we take what A.A. has given to us -- and give it away to the world outside of A.A.

It's how we practice our A.A. in our daily living -- outside the rooms of A.A.

It's wonderful to watch stressed out strangers smile and look encouraged after we've crossed their paths. It's an awesome feeling to know that we've been helpful and encouraging to those that we don't know -- and they don't know us. We do it Anonymously -- like Anonymous Angels without a name and without a title -- not looking for nor expecting anything in return -- and God takes care of us and provides for our needs, when we do His work by treating His children well. All those people out there are God's kids.

So, if we're a God's kid -- all the other people in the world are our brothers and sisters. Because if we're God's kids -- they are God's kids, too. If one of them is not His kid -- then, none of us are His kid. We're related to them and we don't know it. How we treat them -- even when we see them as strangers -- is how we treat God.

If I really want to thank God and show Him how I appreciate Him -- I'll get off my knees and replace my words with actions -- and thank and appreciate the God inside of others.

Our book, the Big Book, says that God is inside us. And, that inside of us is the only place He can be found. So, if God is inside of us -- He is inside of everyone. We do His will when we treat others like we treat God. Because what we do to others -- we're doing to God. Regardless if we know it or aware of it or not. And, what we give away -- not expecting anything in return for it -- and just doing it because of "that's who we are" instead of "it's about who they are" -- it's always returned to us in greater measure in Anonymous ways.

That's what I learned in A.A. and A.A. seems to have become a part of me, as I am a part of it. A.A. helped me discover It. And, now I know that I in It and It in me. If you've seen me -- you've seen It -- because I and It are One. Iam that It inside of me. :wink:

In It.... I live and walk and have my being. For I and It are One. :lol:

When I did those things -- I started to like me.
And, it feels really good -- when I like me.
So, I continue to do those things. :wink:


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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:10 am

Postby Susan » Thu May 22, 2008 5:06 pm

Thank You both for sharing, I too was taught to greet everyone I come in contact with. I appreciate everyone in the forum and have missed everyone while away on vacation. :D

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