“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”  -Winston Churchill

In early recovery for quite a few years on Friday afternoon at 5:30 pm I attended “Happy Hour”.    Not the happy hour that I had learned to love in college.  A self help 12 step meeting called Happy Hour! It was a topic meeting.  The meeting would open with the normal stuff and then a member would share and qualify with a 10 minute story of their addiction and life in recovery.  They then had the honor to choose the topic.  Two out of every 4 or 5 speakers would choose, “Gratitude”!

I was not a very positive person at the time.  I did not understand why anyone would be positive.  Therefore I challenged everything in my head.  I would complain to myself about the sun in the winter!  I once walked in to a step-study meeting during the day because I was not working and it turned out to be a Tradition meeting.  I sat there for quite a time sulking about it.  Of course the meeting turned out to be a good one!  Later that evening I was at my home group meeting and a fellow that went to the tradition meeting shared that when he heard it was a tradition he thought oh no!  But it turned out to be the best meeting he had been to in a while!  I thought to myself, yes, and I sat there sulking for 20 minutes!

I believe that was the beginning of opening my mind and allowing myself to hear every message no matter how important or trivial I may think it is or is going to be.  I began to listen to the “Gratitude” chatter with enthusiasm.  I started to change some of the negative beliefs I had of myself and the world around me.  Starting with the fact that I was not the center of it!

As I have slowly progressed through the years my life has gotten better and better.  I have learned to deal with adversity by being grateful for what I have now.  I began to practice by writing a gratitude list.  By telling people I am grateful for their presence in my life.  I would love to say I am perfect at it but that would be a lie!  I am human at it I guess is the best description.  What I do know is that an Attitude of Gratitude is essential for Joy!

Go, Go, Go…

Dan 🙂