Happy Thanksgiving from New Thought Sobriety! We are so grateful for our friend, Trish F., for contributing a wonderful article on this special day. Enjoy!
In gratitude, harmony, and support,
Grateful for Everything
by Trish F.
Early in my sobriety, I was at an AA meeting when the speaker asked everyone who had ever relapsed to raise their hands. People started somewhat sheepishly looking around the room and slowly, one by one, hands were lifted – mine among them. The speaker then said that anyone who had asked God to help them stay sober each morning should keep their hand up. Not a single hand remained raised.
Since that meeting, I think of “asking” God, the Divine – or whatever word you use – to work through me, as me, to maintain my sobriety as a kind of insurance plan. It serves as my daily reminder to get my “bloated nothingness” out of the way of the Divine circuits as I begin another 24 hours. The speaker went on to say that he also thanked God for his sobriety each night before he fell asleep. I began to bookend my days with those two practices.
Gradually, I extended my gratitude practice by calling to mind each evening other gifts made possible by my sobriety – health, peace, restored relationships, employment … the list goes on and on.
Then there are those days when I don’t think I have much for which to be grateful, so I have to chunk it down to basics … I can see, I can walk, I can breathe. Those gifts we so often overlook and take for granted.
Recently, I wanted to take my gratitude process a bit further. Knowing the wonderful, creative force gratitude is in my life, I decided that I wanted to be grateful for everything – not just the “good” stuff. I wanted to include things that fall into the “challenge” category – a work situation gone sour, a financial struggle, a broken heart.
Honestly, it has not been easy to summon up gratitude for these types of things. I do, however, have two tools that I have found helpful. The first is my go-to mantra of “good, and only good comes from this.” That has become my almost automatic response whenever a challenging situation presents itself in my life. I repeat it over and over again until I actually begin to believe it! Then I ask myself this question: Why is this happening for me? That tiny 3-letter word guides me to drop the victim lens and begin to see the situation differently.
Sometimes, however nothing can seem to stir the embers of gratitude for life’s challenges. In those times, I go back to basics. I thank God for my sobriety and leave it at that. It reminds me that my worst day sober is still better than my best day drinking, and that my sobriety is the cornerstone on which all the rest of my life is built. Then I go to sleep, knowing I get a brand new 24-hours when I wake up to try to do better, but knowing it’s OK if I don’t.
If there is one thing that I have learned from AA and New Thought teachings, it is that it is all about progress and not perfection. And, for this, I am grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!