3 Reasons Why Gratitude Works For 12 Steppers

gratitudeWhen I first got sober I hated those gratitude meetings around the holidays. They felt sappy and I was embarrassed by them. Besides, I was sure, I would never feel grateful again!

Talk about egomania!

Even later on, when I’d begun to let go of some of my selfishness I found the notion of writing down three things I was grateful for every day silly… until I accepted the challenge.

Many years later a spiritual teacher of mine challenged a class I was in to find 100 things we were grateful for every day! You can read the full story and see some results over at Gratitude Times 108 on my blog about freelance writing.

Why gratitude works

As I gave up my resistance to writing down things I was grateful for and even sharing some of those things at meetings I noticed a shift in my thinking:

Being consciously grateful stops stinking thinking cold, if I’m even remotely willing. By the time I’ve thought of three or four reasons why I’m grateful, my mind has begun to quiet and I’m off the squirly, self-indulgent, poor me, kind of thinking I’m prone to.

Making a gratitude list puts me in the present moment. When I’m writing about what I’m grateful for I’m actually experiencing what’s happening now rather than worrying about yesterday or tomorrow. When I’m grateful I’m content with the way things are and not pushing the river to change.

A gratitude list gets me out of myself. I don’t really understand this one, but it’s true for me. Even though I”m thinking about what I’m grateful for that act somehow opens me up to be less selfish and more open to being of service. Maybe it’s because gratitude also is a way for me to let go of the notion I can control what’s going on.

 I love the fact that being

grateful for the little things seems to work at least as well as being grateful for the bigger things. It’s much easier to find lots of little things, like clean water (maybe not so little after all), fresh air, a favorite pet, a plant I notice. The bigger things, like the right relationship, a new car or house, etc. don’t happen as often.

What are you grateful for?

Love, blessings and abundance,

Anne W. Powerfully Recovered




Image: Attribution Some rights reserved by Nick Saltmarsh


Diane November 26, 2012 at 8:29 pm

I attended a conference recently where we were encouraged to name 3 blessings from the day and then name our part in them. It makes a difference to do it that way. It makes me think about how my decisions and/or choices on a given day affected what happened that day. My cousin and I email back & forth each day to share our 3 blessings. There has been a day or two in the past month when I really had to struggle to think of 3 blessings and my part in them, but doing it made me feel better. I end my day on a positive note.

annew November 26, 2012 at 8:51 pm

What a great addition to the practice… my part in them… reminds me that Rev. Guy also suggested we figure out one reason every day the world’s a better place because we’re in it… thanks for the suggestion and reminding me!

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