I wrote my first gratitude list in February 2017 at the age of 39. Since then I have tried to find gratitude in whoever, wherever, whenever and whatever. For too long had I taken the simple things for granted. Almost a year later I now find myself appreciating a wide variety of things such as clean water and my freely given miracle of sight. This way of thinking has assisted in the transformation of the way I currently perceive and live my life. I have set up this blog with the intention of sharing gratitude on a daily basis. Today I have gratitude for gratitude. May you find gratitude too.
Gratitude List 22/03/2018
Snapped at my daughter this morning. It could’ve been labelled as parenting, but importantly, I felt it was an overreaction. On the positive side, it was over quickly and I was just as quick to apologise and give her a cuddle. I believe, I was able to make this amends there and then because I instantly felt the guilt and also the overwhelming love. In the past, when faced with similar day-to-day situations I was likely to drag it on and on. Why? Because, amongst other things, I was emotionally numb. Today I am hugely grateful that I am more in touch with my emotions.
I feel guilt when I do something wrong.
I laugh when something is funny.
I can cry when something is sad.
I miss my kids and my girlfriend when I am not with them.
I appreciate every second when I am.
I am happy for other people.
I am proud of others.
I love more.
I have more hope.
I am more grateful. More blessed.
Gratitude List 21/03/2018
Currently sitting in stand still London traffic trying to head from North to South in rush hour. Not the greatest decision I’ve made but it needed to be done. I am not a fan of traffic. A good time to reflect on gratitude….
ACDC rocking on the radio.
The effort I’ve made, I’ve been procrastinating this for weeks.
That I’m not involved in the accident reported up ahead.
Now James Bays new song! Very Strokesy.
Beautiful blue skies.
That I did plan for potential traffic and therefore I’m in no rush…. Yet!
Being warm enough I can have the window down. Has Spring arrived?
Not sure who sings this one but it goes ‘oooh here she comes…. she’s a maneater…’
Time to relax and reflect.
Gratitude List 20/03/2018
As well as appreciating what I have, I am also grateful for the things I don’t have. This little twist on my gratitudes remind me of how far I have come in my own personal recovery. Each of the below refer to things I have either experienced or been very close to doing so. Today I am grateful….
I am not in so much pain.
I am not living in denial.
I am not wearing my multiple dishonest masks.
I am not suffering alone.
I am not on my own (there’s a difference).
I am not elsewhere.
I am not wasting money.
I am not wasting time.
I am not risking my liberty.
I am not homeless.
I am not jobless.
I am not in a hospital.
Gratitude List 19/03/2018
For too long had I not wanted to have a good sincere look at myself. Understandably so, I can’t say I’m proud of my past. It was far easier to forget, deny, surpress and blame others.
Just under a year ago I was encouraged to do an inventory. I was told to honestly and morally scrape the bottom of the barrel. I did. And although I was warned this could be an emotional task, I took each learning curve as a huge positive. I came to believe that my past is a place for reflection and not for residence. I was gathering some tools to help me deal with the roller-coaster that life is. As a good friend regularly suggests, I hopefully have another 40 years to be the best person I can possibly be.
More recently, I have been topping up this work by doing a mini inventory each night. By answering some simple questions, I gain substance to my prayers and focus for the following day. Today I am grateful for….
A guiding hand.
The courage I had to take the initial plunge.
Putting things down on paper by hand. There’s some magic in this.
The release. No better way of explaining it.
The serenity I get as a result.
The tools I am acquiring.
Things I could’ve done better. I can learn from them.
Gratitude List 18/03/2018
Today I am grateful for the things I choose to view as miracles. There may well be some science behind each and every one and some are definitely man made. Even these though have a certain awe, a certain wow factor, that to me seem miraculous. Some, for me, can’t be explained.
Miracle of life
Miracle of gravity
Miracle of love
Miracle of grief
Miracle of change
Miracle of recovery
Miracle of forgiveness
Miracle of suns, moons and stars
Miracle of the human body. In fact any species!
Miracle of electricity
Miracle of evolution
Miracle of engineering
Miracle of abstinence
Miracle of faith
Miracle of medicine
Gratitude List 17/03/2018
If I am open-minded and willing I can learn from the people around me. I’m not talking about learning from their mistakes, I’m talking about drawing strength from what they excel at. I used to look at people’s weaknesses with judgement and criticism. I still do sometimes. Over the last year I have tried to look for the positives, to see their inner beauty.
My girlfriend and her love, tolerance, understanding, support, commitment, dedication, work ethic, positivity, acceptance, generosity…
My son for his love, kindness, generosity, his good behaviour, innocence, calmness, courage, resilience, honesty…
My daughter and her love, sweetness, kindness, happiness, innocence, good behaviour, excitement…
This list could get very long indeed. I am very lucky to have a close relationship with my amazing family and have a great network of friends. Every person in my life possesses strengths I can draw upon, even the people I have spent most of my life resenting. How I choose to look at them is up to me.
Gratitude List 16/03/2018
Excuse the parody…
In contrast to Neo, I don’t remember meeting the mighty Morpheus. I also don’t remember choosing to take the blue pill instead of the red. Even though I have no memory, I must have, because at some point in my late teens I entered my dreamworld. Not the wonderland that Neo and Trinity enjoyed, jumping around with endless possibilities saving the world. But a world of extreme highs and extreme lows. Leaving behind a path of destruction wherever life took me. Thanks to God I found the red pill some twenty years later. From this point on, like the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar, I began to see the world as it truly is. Unlike the shock they got, I was met with a world of beauty, of change, of hope.
A long winded way of saying I no longer look at the world through tinted glasses. But with these new eyes I am truly grateful for…
The beauty of nature
The blueness of the day’s sky
The vastness of the night sky
The sun’s power, the moon’s too
The sound of birds
The sound of running water
The beauty within people
The bond of family
The warmth in touch
The joy of laughter
I did however see the true me as well and there was little beauty to be found. Thanks to God (again) I have taken this positively. It is, without a doubt an opportunity to change, to make amends, a true blessing to live two lifetimes in one.