Today I want to talk about gratitude. Tonight is my home group’s gratitude dinner for alcoholics anonymous so it seemed a fitting topic. Lately, I have not been feeling very grateful. I have been feeling victimized by life and throwing myself a very elaborate pity party. That being said I keep putting one foot in front of the other trying to move forward. I want to focus on all the things I have to be grateful for so when I walk into that room tonight it is with me and I will truly be overfilled with gratitude.
Higher Power. My relationship with my higher power has always been tumultuous like every relationship in my life. I was either riding high on faith for my HP or resentful. It’s always been love or hate. Now that I have entered the program of AA I have learned to accept and walk with my HP. To understand that my HP is always there for me and truly cares for my well being. Even if I am being an obstinate little shit head, all I need is the willingness to believe and turn my care over to it and it’s will shall be done. I need to show more gratitude on a daily basis though and strengthen my bond with my HP though, especially during hard times. I acknowledge that and intend to work on it. I need to be living step 3 every single day.
“God, I offer myself to Thee – To build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness
to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.
May I do Thy will always!” —Third Step Prayer.
Family. My family is big, dysfunctional, loud, all over the place and can get under your skin faster than anything, but they are mine. We have had blow out fights that ended in many tears and resentments but one thing is certain; we love each other. When I have hit rock bottom, which has been more frequent than I care to admit in my adult life, there has always been someone there to help me pick up the pieces. These past two weeks I have really bonded with my older sister and my nieces and nephews. They live a few blocks from my work and I never took the time to go over there because I was so busy with AA, two jobs, and life. Now that I have made it a priority, I am realizing how fulfilling life can be when you strengthen your bond with your siblings. My step mom and dad also deserve an honorable mention. The past year they have done more for me than I could ever begin to thank them for. Little things like coming to each one of my open houses to support my passion for real estate, and big things like buying me all new tires for my birthday so I had safe transportation. I know without a doubt that I always have a safe place to land with my family. For that I am grateful.
Friends. I don’t have many friends but the ones I do have are quality people. Similar to my family, they have helped pick me up quite a few times the past few years. They made sure I had the best birthday I could under the circumstances I was dealing with and have brought immeasurable joy and laughter to my life. Whether I was a drunk party girl, or a sober AAer they have been there for me. Not all of them. I have lost a few on this journey and that’s ok. We are just on a different adventure. I am meeting more and more beautiful souls in the program as well. I believe by the end of my life fellowshipping will be my primary social life and I am totally down with that. If you aren’t clear, fellowshipping is when you “hangout” or socialize with other sober people in the program. It’s a way to build your network of support. I am grateful that at each meeting if you are new, they give you a meeting schedule with a list of phone numbers on the back. Some of those random numbers have turned into real friendships.
Myself. If you asked me a year ago what I was grateful for I would probably write about cats, wine, and money. I never would have even thought to be grateful for my own self. This is a sign of the growth that is taking place in me. I am finally beginning to see my worth, strength, hope and experience. I am grateful that I never give up on myself. I am grateful that I have had my own back for 30 years and made it through every bad day. I am grateful that I love myself enough to never give up on the things that matter no matter how hard things get. I am not perfect. I have relapsed and I have isolated and I have sat in self pity. But you know what else I did? I got right back up and at it. There is a fire in me that might weaken, but it never fully extinguishes. I have a fiery passion to succeed and live a beautiful life and I know that when the darkness fades there will be nothing but beauty because of the life I am creating for myself.
There are so many little things to be grateful for every single day and I too often overlook them. We had a meeting centered on gratitude a few weeks ago and you wouldn’t believe the things the women were grateful for. Seeing rainbows in the sky, having groceries, doing yoga in the rain, having a warm bed to come home to….what if we realized how blessed we are every single day for something as simple as groceries.