We carry thoughts of Gratitude all day, every day of our recovery, and that’s as it should be.
Sometimes our Gratitude comes to the front of our memory at a meeting as someone expresses relief from past conduct and its shame and sorrow, its black cloud. It’s that relief we receive, free of charge from our Higher Power’s Grace.
Sometimes it came on a holiday, such as a July Fourth celebration, or the distant echoing of “TAPS” at a service for a fallen police officer or firefighter and we are grateful for the selflessness of their bravery and devotion to those they protect.
Days of a religious nature also seem to call on us to remember and we see that the Grace we receive from our Higher Power is exactly that – it’s “free,” no strings attached, and it seems to arise just at the moment when we might have a need for it.
I see Gratitude when newcomers appear and take that first step of commitment. They feel as we all did – a relief, something taken off our shoulders, we see light ahead and the privilege of literally starting our lives over without baggage and even including a plan to grow that feeling, to grow in our spiritual being and to undertake regular Twelve Step work.
Our kids and grand-kids prompt a swelling of our hearts. Running through life seemingly without a care in the world, their growth as they move through the teens and early adult-hood – and doing so with that same joy they encountered as a kid running and playing.
I have a Gratitude for the Traditions – we come to meetings and don’t vote on agendas, motions, approval of minutes or election of officers. We can listen to others speaking without a “hidden agenda,” all of us seeking only a “happy, joyous and free life” way of life.
That brings to mind the Gratitude I see in the range and timing of our meetings. Any time, any day, any city or village, county, state, country – one can find a meeting. When we try other meetings, we see the Gratitude of others we don’t see in our usual home group.
I think of Bill and Dr. Bob, the “Old-timers” – those who came before us and carved out of whole cloth a way of life without relying on any additive substances to get us through life’s sudden hurt. They are Saints.
And our loved ones and those that stood behind us during our dark days of pain and rage – spouses, family, friends, employers. It’s a journey to sobriety, sometimes scared by a return to the “old ways” but they joined our journey and shared in its joys and trials.
... and we are Grateful for all this and more, especially for the serenity we gain as we work the program day-by-day.
Jim A. – Covington, Kentucky