January 11, 2010

Smitty's ESH: How is Gratitude a Part of Recovery?

There are days when my ego wants to see how others are suffering, so that I don't feel so alone. I have not had one of those days in awhile, but I am human enough to know that I could have a day like that at the drop of a hat. With program, my misery won't last long for me.

This is because a big part of the program that comes first for me is gratitude. For me, to "Look for the Good" (expressing it as gratitude) is doing the action behind the feeling of gratitude...

This is a program of action.

Once I admit powerlessness (admit that step one is true for me right now), I need something to create hope in me or admitting step one is pretty grim. That hope for me is in Looking for the Good. I almost made a revealing typo back there.. nearly publishing a new slogan, "Look for the God."

Here is what I think about gratitudes. They are the action, in seeking an awareness of a Higher Power at work. Look for the God, indeed. Many who come to program have lost their faith in a power greater than themselves: AKA "God".

One understanding in 12-step programs is that step 11, sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscience contact with God, can be done any time (this is why I always argue for the validity of doing the steps in whatever order works for you).

In fact, one religious tradition believes gratitude is the highest form of prayer.

So, gratitude is prayer! It is also learning to recognize that a Higher Power is working for us, each day. This gratitude power brings our hearts closer to appreciating life as it IS, and seeing the potential for good that is in every moment we are alive. We don't deny that there is pain. We don't pretend to be oblivious, but we do allow ourselves moments of joy, appreciation... Could even be called, "praise".

Shh... I didn't say worship. Yet.


  1. I like having those moments of sheer joy and happiness. They feel great.

  2. I still find it amazing that gratitude can be both an action and a simple awareness practice that creates place for joy to dwell.


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~