November 19

GRATITUDE MONTH: DAY 19: “You cannot, at the very same time, be grateful and unhappy, or ungrateful and happy.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

There  you go! It cannot be done. If you are truly participating in gratitude, it is not possible to be unhappy.

What I hear (way too much of) in meetings is people comparing themselves with those who are less fortunate and calling it gratitude. “My house did not burn down, like so many others, I am grateful.”
“I am not as bad off as he is, I am grateful.”

These are not what gratitude is about. Gratitude is all about TRULY recognizing that the good we have in our lives is NOT of our own making. Sure, we may get the job and do what is told to us, but the fact that we have  a job at all is not of our own making.

True, we may work these steps and do what we are told by a sponsor (or NOT) and continue to have some semblance of recovery, but THAT is NO WAY our doing.

We may make house payments or pay our rent, but the fact that we have a home is not of our doing. And our health and well-being is certainly a gift every day.

As is every breath, every butterfly, every sunny day, every rainy day. And so on…

We are quick to attribute disasters and ill health and catastrophes as having a Source we are not responsible for. What about the good stuff?

The book tells me I am a chronic malcontent. That means, I have a deadly, ongoing and CHRONIC inability to be pleased or satisfied. As the saying I loved the most in the 1980s went, “Too much is never enough.”

So, gratitude for ENOUGH is extremely important. No, I do not have a million dollars…but, I do have enough to pay for food and shelter and my car and all my expenses and a bit of fun when I want it. I may not be 30 years old and have that body any more…but, I do have awesome health and the ability to hike and do yoga and move around like I want to. And so on…if I let my head (EGO…Screaming Purple Monkeys) run the show, I am going to be so fucking unhappy. Look around, there are a LOT of miserable people sitting in rooms calling themselves sober and clean. I don’t think so.

True happiness comes from knowing that all the really good (great!) shit in my life is not of my doing. I am gifted, over and over and over, with all the good shit. It is my duty to be grateful for it, and the byproduct of THAT is being happy….woohoo!!!

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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