Believer

Gratitude List 31/08/2018

I cannot deny, just two years ago I was a million miles from praying and meditating. Speaking and listening to God was absolutely alien to me. I had no resentment towards the idea but the concept of handing over my will to a higher power was somewhat comical. I did however, become resentful when I first joined the fellowship – I joined to stop my addiction, not to listen to talk of God, higher powers and a spiritual life. Frankly, it put me off. I feared change, especially a change as dramatic as that. And as far as I was concerned, change was impossible.

Today I am extremely grateful:

– I kept coming back to meetings. If I hadn’t, I’d still be the same person. Dishonest, unwilling and closed-minded.

– for the message of hope. Once resented, given enough time it was then desired. I could see change in others. Change was possible. I was desperate for change and I would go to any lengths to do so.

– for my good friend who guided me to and took me through the Big Book. Left to my own desires, that book would not be on my shelf and I’d still be on my own.

– for step one. Without this humbling admission, I would still be living with the idea that I am the all mighty and powerful. And despite the obvious truth, I was managing my life perfectly. It was those who didn’t conform to their given roles that were to blame.

– for We Agnostics. What a life changing chapter this was for me. The words lifted from the pages and opened my locked mind. My first spiritual experience and a kick-start to my belief in my higher power who I choose to call God.

– that in the fellowship, the word God is but a name for my higher power. If my higher power was the universe, then the universe was my God. If my higher power was the fellowship, then the fellowship was my God. If my higher power was God, then God was my God. This freedom was vital for me to take that leap of faith.

– for the daily suggestions and the step work. Working the program on a daily basis continues to strengthen this new found belief. Changes are happening right in front of my eyes. Things are happening in my life that cannot be explained off as coincidence…. Miracles? Why not.

– for my God. I believe He has always been there for me. He was definitely there when I honestly seeked Him. I have faith He always will be.

Less to Ful

Gratitude List 30/08/2018

Hope. That’s what I have found.

I’m not talking about the desperate and blind hope I conjured up when I was in action. But the hope for my future. God willing of course.

Today I am grateful:

– for the fellowship which introduced me to hope. Without it, I’m confident I’d still be walking around without any.

– for the hope I got and keep getting from witnessing recovery in others – the message.

– that my hope is getting stronger with each passing day I work the program.

– for the hope in all departments of my life (relationships, happiness, purpose and even financial.)

– that hope is real, achievable and maintainable.

Handing over my will changed my powerless to powerful. The fellowship has done the same with my hope.

Google Earth in reverse

Gratitude List 29/08/2018

This morning I was guided to not jump on the bus that was waiting, but instead walk to work in the rain. The overwhelming thought was for the exercise. But once I started, I then felt compelled to be mindful as I walked. ‘Let’s go with it’ I thought.

Every time I practice mindfulness I am reminded of the amazing world around me. It is very easy for me to ‘go with the flow’ to a point that I forget what the flow really is. It’s not the flow of get up, go to work, eat, sleep, repeat. It’s the flow of life.

Today I am grateful that I remembered….

– I was walking on a giant spinning orb orbiting around an even bigger orb amongst thousands of others.

– all the colours I am able to see are down to the sun and its light. The cold I can feel on my hands is only as cold as it is because of the sun’s heat.

– the ozone layer that happens to be protecting us from the sun’s radiation.

– the gravity that is stopping me from floating away

– the trees I was walking past are full of life and just happen to provide us with the oxygen I need to survive.

– the rain on my head wasn’t from a tap or shower but from a cloud up there in the sky.

– the small pain in my back and the sensation of my feet hitting the floor are being felt due to signals being sent to my brain.

Obvious stuff but things I easily forget.

Just like Google Earth in reverse, I often like to imagine zooming out from where I’m standing all the way to the satellite. It’s easy to forget how amazing and miraculous the flow of life really is.

Open to Motivation

Gratitude List 28/08/2018

Without motivation, what would I do? Sleep? Eat? Go to work? Not much else, there’s not much more I can do if I don’t have the necessary drive. I’d quite happily put my feet up and do nothing.

Thankfully, I am currently open and available to motivation, instead of resenting and blocking it. As a result, today I am grateful for for:

– the motivation to continue my recovery.

– the motivation to abstain.

– the motivation to do service.

– the motivation to exercise.

– the motivation to eat healthy.

– the motivation to work hard.

– the motivation to pray.

– the motivation to do the next best thing.

I’m also grateful for the awareness that my motivation can sometimes dip and also lack in other departments of my life.

Empty

Gratitude List 27/08/2018

Running on empty. That’s how I felt for years and years. The more I think about it, the more I realise.

Today I am grateful I am no longer running on empty with regards to:

Money – always in the red.

Petrol – mostly just fumes.

Belief – at an all time low.

Hope – I had none.

Power – Less.

Energy – physically and mentally exhausted.

Motivation – to do what?

Inspiration – ignored it.

Responsibility – neglected it.

Maturity – practiced the opposite.

Chances – quickly running out.

Support – didn’t want it.

Trust – lost it.

Serenity – no peace.

Sanity – disappearing.

Abstinence – impossible.

No wonder my cup was always half empty. Today, even an empty cup is full of air.

See the best

Gratitude List 26/08/2018

A lovely reading (see below) on gratitude this morning led to the realisation that I am beginning to see the best in people and situations. A huge contrast to my past where I would automatically single out someone’s defect whilst completely ignoring their strengths. The times when I did see the positives were not down to gratitude but down to blind optimism and a refusal to face reality.

I am surrounded by the same people now as I was then and I still find myself facing the same situations. Yet practicing gratitude has completely changed my outlook. I hold far less resentment and subsequently I am far more serene.

Amongst many others, today I am grateful I am able to see:

– his happiness, joy and smile. I only used to see his annoying behaviour.

– her love and affection. I only used to see what she was doing wrong.

– his honesty. I only used to see his persistence to argue and be different.

– her tolerance and diligent effort. I only used to see her frustration and negativity.

– his courage. I only used to see his weakness.

– a silver lining. I only used to see the worst case scenario.

– a lesson to be learnt. I only used to see harsh and unjust criticism.

– an option to forgive. I only used to see harm, anger and self pity.

– an opportunity to share and release. I only used to see an opportunity to isolate and surpress.

Honestly, fearlessly, morally

Gratitude List 25/08/2018

Searching honestly, fearlessly and morally within takes a lot of courage. Maybe that’s why, of all the daily suggestions, honestly reviewing my day through an inventory was the one I used to struggle with. Facing the simple truth of my wrongs and admitting I could do better goes against my ego, which is telling me it’s far easier to ignore, deny and surpress.

Today I am grateful for the valuable return I get from picking up a pen and answering a few simple questions.

– Release.

– Humility.

– Self Honesty.

– Lessons to learn from.

– Tools for the next time.

– Content for my prayers.

– Focus for the new day.

– Desire to progress further.

– Strength to forgive and to apologise.

Gratitude towards

Gratitude List 24/08/2018

When we sit for dinner, my girlfriend, my children and I say three things we are grateful for. My daughter often says she is grateful for the dinner we are eating. So sweet. She then proceeds to play with her food and moan about how full up she is while at the same time as asking ‘what’s for dessert?’ I know I know…. So sweet. But it did get me thinking how often I say I am grateful for something but then don’t show gratitude towards it.

Today I am grateful for the reminder to actually show gratitude:

– towards my life by making the most of it.

– towards my current mental and physical health by looking after myself.

– towards my sight by appreciating beauty.

– towards my hearing by listening.

– towards my abilities by using them.

– towards my recovery and sponsor by working the program to the best of my ability.

– towards my higher power’s will through prayer and meditation.

– towards my partner and family by giving them as much love as possible.

– towards my friends by being there for them.

– towards my fellowship via attendance, communication and service.

– towards money by being honest and responsible.

Improvement

Gratitude List 23/08/2018

My son received his GCSE results today. A big day for him. I haven’t exactly been there for him in the past. I have, but not as much as I should have been. I’m grateful today that I am becoming the father I’ve always thought I could be.

Today I am grateful:

– That putting my recovery first has enabled me to be there for my son.

– I can present, mind and body, to support him and not elsewhere causing destruction.

– To be able to pass on guidance, direction and my somewhat limited but growing wisdom.

– For my increased tolerance and patience. Something I still suffer with as a parent. Why is it always the ones we love the most???

– The love I feel for him and my willingness to make sure he knows it.

– For the desire to continue to improve as a parent.

– Oh and I’m grateful he did better than me! 👍