Gratitude List 25/09/2018

Let me start by saying ‘if I can do this then so can you’. A cliché I know, but I sincerely mean it. Just over two years ago I would have never wrote what I’m about to write, nor would I have believed I ever would. If I had read this I would have (a) laughed, (b) resented and (c) deleted the message. My advice to anyone who feels the same, Google open-mindedness and willingness – I should have done this decades ago.

When I started the recovery program, I was promised a spiritual experience. I assumed this meant I’d just have the one. Little did I know that this experience was going to be continuous. I’ve heard others describe their own experiences in many different ways and I can relate to that. Mine have differed hugely. I have had a few hair raising moments and plenty of more subtle ones. They’re all different but they do have one similarity – I had little to do with them.

Today I am grateful for the action I take that connects me to a power greater than myself – these lists, daily inventories, prayer, meditation, reading literature, connecting with others, working the steps, attending meetings, doing service. These actions take me out of self. All of them play a special and vital part in me letting go. Once connected, once my will has been handed over, I will be living within a spiritual experience.

Today I am grateful for the wisdom I have gathered by listening to others. Wisdom that has led me to have a better understanding in recognising whether I’m running the show or if my God is. I hand over my will every morning but that doesn’t stop it retaking control many times throughout the day. Thankfully I am recognising when it does and I can reconnect through a little prayer. Almost instantly I am living in the spiritual world once more.

Today I am grateful that I don’t put everything down to coincidence. I could choose to, but I simply choose not to. There is as much tangible evidence to support coincidence as there is to support a spiritual experience – none. So when those peculiar moments happen, instead of defaulting to coincidence I simply choose to believe a power greater than myself is at work.

Today I am grateful for acknowledging my higher power at work. When I reflect on my time in recovery I realise that I am now doing things I could not do by myself. I have changed. Massively. In ways I have never been able to change before. I acknowledge these changes as what they are – spiritual experiences.

Today I am grateful for gratitude. To say I view life differently today is an understatement. Practising gratitude has played a huge part in this. The serenity I get from my daily writing is both surreal and very humbling. This, amongst those hair raising moments, is the time when I feel most connected.

Talking of hair raising moments, today I am grateful for absolute honesty. Honesty in itself relieves me, but I’m talking about the release I get from sharing my deepest darkest secrets – the things I assumed I would take to my grave. It’s in these releases my hair has stood up. If I ever wanted physical evidence of a spiritual experience then this was it. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.

If you got to this point, then you are a step ahead of where I was. Just three more words – Honesty. Open-mindedness. Willingness.

Grateful for the memory

Devoke Water, UK, summer 2016