November 15

GRATITUDE MONTH: DAY 15: “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson

The dangerous thing about judgement is the term “good” or “bad.” This is something Ego makes up to let us know that it can judge. Does no good. Does not exist. There is NOTHING inherently good or bad. It is all just the way it is.

So what if we have feelings around an event? It is there to teach us. We are going to learn a tremendous amount from those things, whether we like them or not. Acceptance is definitely necessary for life to be happy, joyous and free. Opinions don’t count. Judgments are opinions. Nobody cares what you think. Keep it in your mouth. Sharing opinions is a sure way to destroy relationships.

So, if there is no good or bad, right or wrong, what now? Just life. It is happening, whether you like it or approve of it. Get on board the gratitude train to make it a learning experience. I can look back at a life of profound physical, sexual and emotional abuse and say that it created this strength that I walk through the world with. It was a long process, and cost me a lot of angry days and huge piles of victimization and resentment. Today, I see the strength and resilience in my life. And I am grateful for every moment it took to get here.

So, the last line of this quote is SO right on! I include ALL things in my gratitude. I am happy and proud to be who I am and where I am in this life. It has been an interesting journey; one I hope to continue for a bit. If not, I know that living the way I am living today is the gift. The work of these steps has given me a type of freedom that few people ever reach.

Most people are so busy analyzing the steps and thinking about things that they never GET the stuff they are here to teach. They read and study. The only test we can prepare for is LIFE. And that is passing them by as they analyze and discuss and try to explain things. It all just IS. There is no explanation possible or needed.

My favorite motto from early recovery is “Just Do It.” This was on a big poster I used to have hanging in my office in many homes, until it got torn up from just moving it around. Such a great reminder. Life is all about just being present and doing the next indicated thing. I have great sponsorship and these beautiful steps to take me down the paths I am here to walk. I may like the way your path looks better, but after doing this for so long; I can honestly say that I would not trade places with ANYONE, anywhere. That, my friends, IS the f—ing point!

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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