One of the most valuable things I have learned in Alcoholics Anonymous is to be grateful in all circumstances. I am not by nature a very optimistic, hopeful, and grateful person. My default is a cynical look at the glass half empty and maybe conclude that the liquid within is poisonous.
When I was sober about a year someone broke into my (brand new) car and stole my car stereo and all my music collection on tapes (it was 1985!). Funnily, they left all of my Talking Heads tapes. The police officer even agreed that the person obviously lacked taste in music!
I was livid. I was feeling unsafe. I was feeling that the world was conspiring against me.
I called my sponsor. She had the nerve to ask me to write a gratitude list! The nerve of some of these AA people! I was indignant!
But as a person who wished to stay sober, I followed her instruction. I sat down at my dining room table with pen and paper and grudgingly started on a gratitude list. I still remember it to this day because it was such a seminal moment in my sobriety.
- I have plenty of cigarettes
- I have a pot of coffee on the stove
- No one can steal my bathtub
- I am so easily entertained!
And then I learned that if you look hard enough, there is always something to be grateful for. When I learned that my life improved immeasurably.
I also think that God really likes it when we thank him. When I wonder at how exactly God loves me, I look at how I love my children. And I know he is infinitely more loving than that. I like it when my kids tell me what they want - because I want to provide that if I can. And then I love it when they thank me. I think that is a good place to start with God.
So, Thank you God for all the abundant blessings in my life today. And the challenges.
And thank you Dave for sharing your "thank you" jpg. Let us see how this experiment works!