“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…