writing a gratitude list


At the recommendation of my sponsor, my therapists in treatment, and my AA cohorts, a “gratitude list” is essential to recovery. How to write one? Hmmm, my first go at it didn’t meet my sponsor’s expectations. Should she even have expectations? I remember her telling me, as I was busy rolling off the usual, my kids, my job, my husband “Go back to basics.” Huh? What do you mean…like running water? “Yes, exactly” Damn. That’s intense. Beginning to notice the gift of such things as indoor plumbing, central heating, A/C, writing that gratitude list becomes extremely easy…and LONG. A selfish alcoholic, I tend to overlook the simple joy found in being able to wake up in the morning, breathe in and out, and put one strong foot in front of the other. The generosity of my Higher Power knows no bounds. She kindly gives me life on life’s terms. One day at a time, more specifically, one precious moment to taste, to find joy, seek serenity. Here’s a working gratitude list:

1. Lungs that fill with air as I run sidewalks, flat and hard
2. Legs that run
3. Arms that carry babies on healthy hips
4. Eyes that see sunlight, smiles, flowers, mountains, rivers, streams, trees…magestic Live Oaks, their thick branches dripping to the ground
5. A heart that beats fierce, holding love for my beloved
6. A mind –sick as it may be– that can grow new thoughts, new ideas, new imaginings, create space to savor new moments
7. Laughter, rolling up from my belly into my throat, sometimes causing liquid to spew from my nose and mouth!
8. Hands that touch gently and softly the smooth skin of my daughters, the roughness of my husband’s face, keys on the computer that type out my words, the warmth of another hand during the routine ending of speaking the Lord’s Prayer
9. Ears for hearing the multitude sounds of life: music, crying, breathing, smelling, laughing, yawning, and speaking truthfully, knowing its sound from the rest
10. Waking up alive and able, healthy physically with opportunity to serve, be grateful, manifest acceptance and gratitude so that others see possibility and light


4 thoughts on “writing a gratitude list

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