November 5

GRATITUDE MONTH: DAY 5: “You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.” ― Kahlil Gibran

When we constantly beg for this or that or the other thing, we are like spoiled children who seek only those things we think we need and/or want. This is the kind of praying most addicts practice. Even long into recovery, there is a tendency to pray for self-serving and selfish outcomes.

Step 11 teaches us how to pray and what to pray for. Very simply. “…praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry it out.” My daily gratitude practice includes just saying thank you for THAT.

I believe, because I read a quote many, many years ago that resonated with me, that saying “thank you” is the highest and purest form of prayer.

My gratitude letters are addressed, each day, to that Power that created the beauty and magnificence I see when I look at a tree, a hummingbird, a dolphin, a dog with a wagging tail, a sunset, the stars on a clear night, the oceans, the mountains, and all that keeps moving and being without any help from me. I pray more fully in the recognition of my blessings than I ever did when I felt lost or alone or helpless or doomed to some fate that I dreaded. (Although it was usually the direct result of my own behavior and/or attitudes.)

I have only thanks for all those things I resisted and that were painful because of that resistance. I have gratitude for my failures and successes, my pain and joy, my grief and love, they are all the same things. When I thought I knew what was good or bad, right or wrong, pain or pleasure, I prayed for only those things that I deemed to my liking.

What happened when I did not get my way? I was like a 2-year-old monster! Kicking and spitting and whining and crying and convinced God did not love me!

Then I got into this recovery thing in a deep and powerful way and saw that those things that I disliked so much were my greatest assets. Oh! Who knew?

Certainly not me that day. Today, I know. I don’t cry and pout when something is not unfolding the way I think it should. I know I will be very grateful for it down the road, so I begin to embrace it today and let the rest of the shit go down the drain. Pointless, useless for me to figure it out.

I have never known what was best for me or for you or for anyone. I think that, just for today, I am going to let the running of the Universe go into the hands of that Power that does this all the best and thank that Power again and again and again for it being just right!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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