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A New Beginning 

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.

 

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No Emotional Hangover

Gratitude List 20/08/2018

“We are suddenly able to deal with situations that used to baffle us.”

This happened yet again yesterday. I was put in a position and my reaction was completely different to what it used to be. As a result I have woken this morning with serenity instead of an emotional hangover. I believe the other person has too.

My ability to deal with such a situation is all down to allowing myself to be guided through the recovery program and then continuing to work it on a daily basis. Working it because I’m worth it.

Today I am grateful for:

accepting the things I cannot change. I would normally question and belittle how the other is feeling.

having the courage to change the things I can. I would have tried to change everything except for the thing I can – myself.

the ability to remain calm and composed. My old defence would have been to counter attack.

being understanding and considerate. I would have never looked at it from the other person’s point of view.

having an increased level of tolerance. I would normally turn to agitation and resentment.

my body language. No throwing my arms around in frustration, no face in my hands wallowing in self-pity, no sarcasm in my rolling eyes, no anger in my gritted teeth.

the deep breaths and time I took. Normally, I wouldn’t have given any of the above a chance as I would have snapped within seconds.

my higher power’s will. My connection is clearly strong at the moment. My will didn’t stand a chance.

Smiles

Gratitude List 19/08/2018

Today I am grateful for all the things that make me smile. A smile is a sure sign of an uplift in my mood. If I’m smiling then I am happy. If my smile breaks into laughter then I am even happier.

Coming from times when my smiles were little more than a mask hiding my inner torment, I am truly blessed and grateful to have so much to sincerely smile about…

– Spending time with the people I love. Just watching them can do the trick.

– Spending time with people whom I share a common interest.

– A beautiful view.

– Entertainment – Comedy, music, TV, sport.

– Seeing recovery in others.

– Seeing somebody doing well.

– Seeing someone having fun.

– Comradery.

– Having hope for the future.

– A life with gratitude.

– A smile. It could be a complete stranger but smiles are contagious.

The present moment

Gratitude List 18/08/2018

Time is precious.

There is nothing I can do about the time I’ve wasted in the past and there’s nothing I can do about how much time I’ll have in the future. When it’s my time, it’s my time. What I can do is appreciate the present moment by putting it to good use.

Today I am grateful….

– For the moments I can work on my recovery and better myself. The time to do meditate, pray, read, write, exercise and communicate.

– For the moments I can give what was freely given to me. This feels like my purpose.

– For the moments I have company. I still have to remind myself to appreciate this. It’s so easy for me to take a conversation for granted and not really listen. Time not alone is a blessing.

– For the moments I have to make a difference. Do something for someone, tell someone I love them, reach out to someone, help someone – think of others.

– For the moments I have to share how I am feeling and how I am getting on. To release anything that is troubling inside. To share the solution.

– For every passing second. Every second can feel like a blessing if I just stop and appreciate it.

Sneaky!

Gratitude List 17/08/2018

How my reactions have changed is miraculous. On what seems like a daily basis I am faced with challenges. Challenges I am used to meeting with intolerance, inconsideration, resentment and anger. Without me realising my recovery has slowly changed bad habits of a lifetime. The longer I put the work in, I’m coming to realise this recovery is as sneaky as my illness!! I love it!

Today I am grateful …..

– I’ve realised I can sincerely say sorry after causing someone harm.

– I’ve realised I can forgive someone after they have harmed me.

– I’ve realised I can see the value in criticism and use it to improve.

– I’ve realised I can accept being unexpectedly late, believing it was meant to be.

– I’ve realised I can consider someone’s circumstances before reacting.

– I’ve realised I can take banter for what it is.

– I’ve realised I can learn from a difficult situation.

– I’ve realised I can do something for someone expecting nothing in return.

Right now

Gratitude List 16/08/2018

Every once in a while something happens in the world that strikes a cord. Events that make me appreciate the simple things that I can easily take for granted. As I type these words, I remember that life changing events are happening all over the world – right now.

If I ever struggle to find gratitude, all I need to do is watch the news, or read a paper. I’m sure to find something that will give me some appreciation for what I have.

Today I am grateful for:

– My current circumstances.

– My current freedom.

– My current sanity.

– My current safety.

– My current comfort.

– My current choices.

– My current abilities.

– My current health.

– My current happiness.

– My current serenity.

– My life.

Came to me

Gratitude List 15/08/2018

Came to believe in a power greater than myself.

Came? I can relate to that. Because that’s exactly how it happened for me. I didn’t wake up one day and say ‘today I will not stop until I find that belief.’ I was under no pressure. I was reading a book in a caf√© when it came, I wasn’t searching for it.

What definitely helped was doing some simple daily suggestions that were asked of me – attend meetings, write a gratitude list, pray and meditate (even if I had to fake it to start with), write an inventory, call other like minded fellows, read recovery based literature and call the very person who gave me these suggestions.

Those suggestions along with open-mindedness, the realisation of both powerlessness and unmanagabilty and the discovery of humility, paved the way for this belief to come to me.

I will always be grateful for that spiritual awakening. Today I am also grateful for the other things that have simply come to me and slipped into my life without me even realising:

– the desire to stop feeding my addiction.

– the courage to be honest and vulnerable.

– comfort in speaking to a room full of people.

– regular thoughts of and a stronger connection with my mum.

– the ability to forgive and love.

– a mind that thinks less.

– taking the right course of action.

– tolerance, patience and consideration.

– the desire to be the best person possible.

– diligent effort (spent most my life doing the bare minimum to get by)

– speaking the right words.

– hope for the future.

Awareness

Gratitude List 14/08/2018

Slowly but surely I am becoming increasingly more aware of my ‘self’, in particular when it takes control. Recently, I can realise several times a day that my self-will has taken control as I often catch myself:

– scoffing my food down.

– rushing when there’s no need.

– leering at women in the street.

– not listening properly.

– procrastinating recovery work.

– spending money I don’t need to.

– not washing my hands properly.

– lacking tolerance and consideration.

– raising my voice and swearing.

– devising a plan in my head.

I know this is my self-will taking control because when I become aware I am currently finding the strength to connect and hand my will over. Today I am grateful for my growing awareness and for the results I get when I connect:

– I take my time and appreciate every bite.

– my breathing slows down and I relax.

– my head turns and I look the other way.

– I take in each word and understand.

– I pick up the phone, or a pen, or a book.

– I turn away from the shop and keep my change in my pocket.

– I take my time and use the soap.

– my calmness and composure return.

– I take a deep breath, lower my voice and choose my words wisely.

– I let go and await the right answer.