The Power of Gratitude

There is much to say about the power of gratitude. Gratitude can take us from a deep, dark place to one one of light and happiness. 

Visions of Gratitude

Visions of Gratitude

“When seen with eyes and heart that appreciate, everything in and around me becomes more pleasing, more beautiful.”

Such is the verse that accompanies this image in my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. We are moving through the book, one topic at a time, and our goal is to reach peace and maintain sobriety.

When we’re in a low spot, the last thing we want to do is be thankful for anything, because we do not feel there is anything for which to be thankful. Yet, adopting an attitude of gratitude can pull us out of that funk.

We can start easily and small, meaning, we pick some stable things in our life for which we can be grateful… a home in which to live, food to eat.

If we don’t have these, and even if we do, we can be grateful every morning that we wake up and can see around us, can see a myriad of colors. We can be grateful for the use of our body, that we can get out of bed and walk, or propel ourselves.

That is one way to start the day. Certainly, as we start the day, we also want to show gratitude for our sobriety and the power of the Universe that helps us to stay sober.

Every little thing that happens to us throughout the day can have gratitude applied… making it to the grocery store safely, having money to buy groceries in the first place, and so forth.

If we are having trouble identifying things for which to show gratitude, we can start by sitting down and making a gratitude list. This is hard to do sometimes, yet it yields tremendous results over time. We start by listing ten things about us and our lives for which we are grateful. Then, we just sit with that and repeatedly express gratitude for those ten things.

The next day we do the same, and then the next, and then the next after that. Every day, we write down a gratitude list and we reflect on that list. Over time, we soften to the things for which we are grateful and we begin to see other things in our lives to add to the list.

Given time, finding things for which to be grateful comes automatically and we begin to be able to expand our list. We will find ourselves looking for the silver lining in the cloud of that bad experience  so we can express our gratitude. It does not happen overnight, but eventually, we will see everything with the eyes of appreciation and we will want to continue this because it feels so good inside.

Today, find three things for which you can express gratitude, and repeat that tomorrow. Then, start writing down ten things you find that you are grateful for. It could be as simple as the pictures on the wall which bring you peace and joy, or as complex as gratitude for that unrequited love that pried you out of a verbally abusive marriage and led you to sobriety.

Soon, you will live a life with an attitude of gratitude, and this, more than anything, will lead you to peace and help to keep you sober. Gratitude is a powerful tool at our disposal, at least, I have found it to be so.



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