Putting Gratitude In Your Attitude
Hi GROW Sisters: I’m Barbara, grateful recovering alcoholic with the help of AA and my Higher Power.
For me, from the very start, gratitude was a way to calm myself and ‘prove’ to myself that AA was working, no matter how bad I felt. I heard others talk about a gratitude list. They said check out the Promises. I tried it, at first skeptically. So, okay, today I didn’t drink; I raised my hand at a meeting; I went to coffee with other AA’ers. And so my list began and grew as I grew in recovery.
Over time, I’d say to my sponsor, ”I prayed today.’ Wow! But then there were days I complained “How can I do a gratitude list?–my best friend just died–there is no way!” She reminded me” You can experience sadness and loss today”. “You can feel the love you had with this friend for so many years.” “You can show up and console the family” –see—you can do it.
My Higher Power and I became more and more in synch. After a while I could explore gratitude within its deeper meaning in my heart and soul—my daily life-the fits and starts of everyday–everything. And once again I would become calm and remind mysel ‘it works if you work it’ one day at a time right along with my Higher Power. I made a new list every day.
I came to AA at 40. I got married (second time) at 50. I got my first car at 60 (Jeep!) and I learned to swim at 70 after a terrible dread of the water. I even lost weight! But life also happened between those lines!
A true and poignant story of my gratitude is that of my Father and me. We were distant for a very long time, and didn’t speak. Finally I started to write to him in the name of my real life cat Peppermint: ‘Peppermint says Mommy had a root canal today.’ ‘Peppermint says Mommy wishes you a happy birthday.’ And so on. This went on for years. One Christmas I sent him a toy stuffed, rabbit fur ‘cat’ that looked like my own sleeping cat. No word from him (tho we finally did reconcile). When he died years later, we entered his house and found the ‘cat,’ all brushed and on a clean chopped meat plastic tray in front of all the other family pictures. We had become a family again.
May you all be grateful and be-calmed tonite. Hgz, b. dos 9/21/83