Friday, February 13, 2009


In Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions the chapter on Step 10 describes having "a genuine gratitude for blessings received" as part of that step. Over at, gratitude is defined as "the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful" or better yet "a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation."

Steve suggested that I post a gratitude list, using that list as a tool to see the things that I am already happy for, especially when I am attempting to battle life instead of simply living it. So here goes, a bit of a list of items for which I am thankful for:

  • For Step 2's "came to believe in a power greater than ourselves." When I could surrender to my Higher Power, sobriety appeared. Each night, when my spouse and I pray together, I feel so grateful that I was clean and sober for one more day. I am truly thankful for that profound change in my life.
  • For my partner, who lets me struggle and doesn't give up in despair. She must chuckle inwardly watching me try to come to grips with stuff that come so easy to her. We've been together over thirty years and we can still fall in love with each other.
  • For Alcoholics Anonymous. For the simple suggestions that helped me sober up and start the process of discovering who I really am. The power to move me from selfishness to compassion. The courage to see myself as I really am, the courage to accept who I am, and the courage to allow God to work on the changes required, all the while learning patience, "God's way in God's time."
  • For my children and their own partners and for my grandchildren, they teach me so much as they work through their own lives, coming up with ways of living that surprise me, discovering their own uniqueness and happiness along the way. The depth of my love toward them is something that continues to surprise me. Even with all the struggles and painfulness that life brings, I see a wonderful family.
  • For the honesty, openness, and willingness I am privileged to witness at my AA home group. To sit in the circle and listen to the joyfulness, the struggles, the tears, the frustrations, to see the changes in people lives over time. It's something I've often wanted when I was younger and God led me to that place. I have good friends there.
  • For blogger friends who are willing to share so much of their lives with us, both in their blogs and in personal correspondence. The world is full of wonderful folk.
  • For working legs that allow me to walk, eyes that can see, ears that can hear, voice to express myself, hands that can reach out, for all my senses and working body parts that allow me to be in this world, to experience this world. For a mind that is starting to quiet, that in that stillness, I can experience this world.
  • For the sponsee's that God put into my life. They teach me difficult lessons about myself. My Higher Power uses them as a mirror, reflecting my own defects back at me as we spend time together. As well, for those moments, when we both risk being vulnerable towards each other, and the changes that happen at those moments.
  • The bit of time my grandson and I played with Lego yesterday, that he trusted me enough to share his imagination with me. So much fun in there.
  • For a sponsor who is willing to not give me the answers. Who is willing to listen and share his own experience without giving direction to my myriad of questions. He answers my questions with a chuckle and the expression "now that's a good question."
  • That I am alive at this moment, part of something so much bigger than me.


Shadow said...

you have great gratitudes here...

steveroni said...

...and I am thankful, Hank, that you can accept with graciousness, suggestions from someone you do not know and have not met.

What trust, what humility that takes. Now--don't get big-headed like I might -grin!

Seriously, we'll stay sober today, and if I focus on "What I can do for someone else", instead of "What another can do for ME" happiness will increase by amazing percentages.
Steve E.

Indigo said...

I would say you have a tremendous amount to be grateful for dear friend. That last line said it all. (Hugs)Indigo

Sophie in the Moonlight said...

wonderfully thoughtful list.

Thank you so much for sharing.

Annette said...

Now I know that you don't really like awards, but this isn't *really* an award. It is a head over to my blog to receive your nomination for this "share" of blog love.

Lou said...

This is the 1st time I have seen a gratitude list thankful for our legs, eyes, etc. I always think of that first, maybe because I work in a hospital.

Anonymous said...

Just for today I will be agreeable.

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

Your public praise in the congregation ministered to a quiet one listening...
Thank you, friend...

All's grace,