Gratitude List 05/03/2019: A days gratitude

Gratitude List 05/03/2019

A days gratitude

Today I am grateful I chose to sit next to someone I recognise on the train to work and interact. My default position would have been to turn, pretend I never saw them and sit at the other end of the carriage.

Today I am grateful I resisted a Greggs or McDonalds breakfast and ate the cereal and fruit that was in my bag.

Today I am grateful I am not procrastinating at work. As a result this means I am currently not stressing about things I need to do.

Today I am grateful I am not living on the streets. I am grateful for this everyday but on cold, wet and windy days it’s more on the forefront of my mind.

Today I am grateful I was there to take a call from a friend who is going through a rough time at the moment.

Today I am grateful I wasn’t rushing around. There were plenty of places I needed to be, but not once did I lose my patience or fear being late. It is what it is.

Today I am grateful I have a space to meditate inside my new home. With door slightly ajar all I can hear is the birds singing.

Today I am grateful I could afford a haircut and look after myself. Recently I’ve been looking a little dishevelled!

Today I am grateful I met up with like-minded people and shared my feelings and how I was getting on.

Today I am grateful I haven’t spent my day with fear and resentment occupying my thinking. Today my thinking is serene.

Today I am grateful I completed my daily suggestions. Suggestions given to me which enhance my spiritual growth.

Gratitude List 01/03/2019: ‘A leap of faith’

Gratitude List 01/03/2019

‘A leap of faith’

To me, ‘a leap of faith’ is a step into the unknown. To let go and see what happens. To trust in something Today I am grateful I listened. intangible. To trust in a power out of my control.

My list today reflects on all the defining moments within my recovery where I have taken a leap of faith. Some of these moments were forced upon me, some I was guided towards, some were due to a conscious thought of ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’

Today I am grateful I walked into the rooms.

Today I am grateful I tried to be open-minded.

Today I am grateful I shared my story.

Today I am grateful I gave service.

Today I am grateful I accepted help.

Today I am grateful I made an effort.

Today I am grateful I did what was asked.

Today I am grateful I surrendered.

Today I am grateful I let go of the manageability.

Today I am grateful I became willing to believe.

Today I am grateful I gave my life over to a power greater than myself.

Today I am grateful I faced the past.

Today I am grateful I handed over my fear.

Today I am grateful I made amends.

Today I am grateful I passed on the message.

Today I am grateful I was honest.

Today I am grateful I accepted.

Today I am grateful I listened.

Today I am grateful I chose to tolerate.

Today I am grateful I bit my lip.

Today I am grateful I forgave.

Today I am grateful I made that call.

Today I am grateful I got on my knees.

Today I am grateful I meditated.

None of the above came natural to me. None were in my make up as a person. None made up my DNA. But all of them are now. Each time I took a leap of faith the results were better than I could ever imagine. This gave me the strength and desire to leap again and again. As the results continued to be positive, the faith I was leaping for in the first place, grew in strength. Today I am grateful for my faith.

Gratitude List 18/02/2019: Freedom

Gratitude List 18/02/2019

Freedom:

1. the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants.

2. the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.

I can relate to both of these. With regards to how much freedom I have now and how I suffered from not having it in the past.

Today I am grateful I have the freedom to choose whether I feed my addiction or not. The insanity of my addiction meant this wasn’t always the case.

Today I am grateful I have the freedom to leave a premises. Crazy I know, but there were many times when I simply didn’t have the power to walk out of a door. Imprisoned by my illness.

Today I am grateful I have the freedom to act in ways that are good for me. I can enhance my spirituality through simple suggestions. I used to make the simplest suggestion as difficult and complicated so I could justify to myself I didn’t need to do it.

Today I am grateful I have the freedom to be honest. My life used to be a lie. It was continuous. Telling the truth meant I’d have to stop…. and I couldn’t.

Today I am grateful I have the freedom to think morally. Once riddled with defects, my thinking was stinky.

Today I am grateful I have the freedom to think less. Through prayer and meditation I am able to hand my thinking over to a power greater than me. Before, I ruled the universe and my washing machine head could think for me and everyone else too.

Today I am grateful I have the freedom to plan my day. I am no longer a slave to my addiction. I was absolutely powerless over its progressive terms. I had to feed it all day, everyday. If I wasn’t acting out I had to think about it. I even had to dream about it.

Today I am grateful that my freedom was only restricted by my addiction and not anything else.

Gratitude List 08/02/2019: Spiritual habits

Gratitude List 08/02/2019

My life thus far has created my lifestyle and within my lifestyle there are many things I do on a daily basis out of habit and not necessarily because I want to. Life is like that. I brush my teeth because its good for their health, I go to work because of the income and security, I’ve done exams to further my education and qualifications. I didn’t do these things because of the joy I got in return, I did them because in there own individual way, they are good for me.

Recovery has taught me how my spiritual health is good for me. Very good for me. I’ve learnt there are many things I can do on a daily basis that that will enhance my spirituality. Most of the time I want to do these things because I enjoy them and I feel fantastic afterwards. But I am only human and my list today reflects on the things that like brushing my teeth have become habitual. If I only did things when there was a desire, I wouldn’t get much done.

Today I am grateful that prayer is becoming a habit.

Today I am grateful that meditation is becoming a habit.

Today I am grateful that being honest is becoming a habit.

Today I am grateful that connecting with others is becoming a habit.

Today I am grateful that being selfless is becoming a habit.

Today I am grateful that reading recovery based literature is becoming a habit.

Today I am grateful that being considerate, humble, forgiving and loving are becoming habits.

Today I am grateful that doing things I enjoy is becoming a habit.

Today I am grateful that sharing and listening are becoming habits.

Today I am grateful that practicing gratitude is becoming a habit.

Gratitude List 29/01/2019: My illness v Recovery

Gratitude List 29/01/2019

My illness v Recovery

A daily battle in my life. Today, the victor was ‘Recovery’. Let me share with you how.

I needed to be honest and tell someone something. My illness created a fear and projected the worse case scenario, as it always does. This led to procrastination which then allowed time for me to become agitated and uncomfortable. Before I knew it, my head was spinning with devious plans to escape.

Prior to working the recovery program, I would have had no answers. I would have continued to suffer in silence. I would have slipped into self-pity and self-resentment. These defects would have festered inside of me and evolved into intolerance and anger. Once boiling point was reached I would have gone about it in completely the wrong way, at the wrong time and hugely harmed this person in the process. I would have stormed off, arrogantly certain I was in the right. That was of course, until the emotional hangover slapped me round the face the following morning as I started to comprehend my actions. ‘What was I thinking?’ I began to ask myself.

Today I am grateful I did not react in this way. Recovery’s counter attack to this fear was to first take me to a meeting, practice unity and give back to the fellowship that saved my life. Once there, the option to chair the meeting was made available to me. Knowing how much selfless acts including service can help my recovery, I wasted no time in grasping this opportunity. Shared experiences reminded me of how far I’ve come and made me realise how small this fear is in comparison to the ones that used to dictate my life. Further service followed as I chose to share the message and not the mess. A suffering newcomer needed to hear it. Leaving the meeting inspired, motivated and spiritually connected I wasted no time in praying to my greater power to remove my fear and direct my attention to what He would have me be. Almost mantra style, I also humbly repeated the third and seventh step prayers. Each time I said them, I felt my serenity, courage and wisdom build up. By the time the conversation came around, I was calm, composed, confident and connected. It wasn’t all easy but the conversation couldn’t have gone better. I was able to remain patient, considerate, tolerant and be 100% honest. I didn’t harm myself and as far as I know, I didn’t harm the other person either. Afterwards, I honestly reflected on this and the rest of my day by doing a daily inventory, promptly admitting when I was wrong. More prayers followed including a sincere thanks to my greater power for my abstinence and recovery. Finally, this list and sleep. It really works if you work it. Sweet dreams all.

People Pleasing

Gratitude List 24/01/2019

People pleasing and the serenity prayer.

I’ve always been a people pleaser and I’ve realised this is predominantly because I want to be a good person. But sometimes it’s based on a fear of letting people down. Like so many other things the serenity prayer seems to fit perfectly. When faced with this particular fear, I have asked my greater power for guidance through the serenity prayer. In return my greater power has directed me to the following three steps which have helped me hugely.

First Step – ACCEPT. In my experience, something must’ve happened for the fear to be created – examples are running late for an appointment due to traffic or being put in a difficult situation, either by myself or another, whereby someone’s values will be challenged. Whatever it is, it’s in the past and therefore I have to accept it for what it is – I cannot change it.

Second Step – CHANGE. From that point, I ask ‘is there anything I can change?’ First and foremost I can always put my fear down on paper, pray and hand it over to my greater power. If I’ve been guided towards further action, then while I’m on my knees I can pray for the required courage. Any following action needs to be within spiritual lines, there’s no point taking the easy way out with an insincere act. For example, a lie to cover a lie, or cause harm to another just to save my own neck.

Third Step – ACCEPT. If further action is required, then I need to remind myself I have no control as to how someone reacts to it. It maybe, that despite doing the next right thing, I could upset another. Fearing this could prevent me from doing what I need to. I need to accept the things I cannot change – that includes other people and how they react. I can’t please everyone.

No scenario is the same. Above is just one. When to accept? When to change? It’s never straightforward. That’s why there is so much importance on the prayer itself, I am asking my greater power for some help and willing to wait and listen for the answer through meditation.

Today I am grateful for the wisdom to know the difference.