November 6

GRATITUDE MONTH: DAY 6: “We have been conditioned to believe that prayer is all about asking God for something. But what if you have nothing to ask for? What if you treat prayer as a way of being thankful to Life, for the gift of this human form, of this lifetime? What if, in prayer, you offer yourself up to divinity, as a humble, willing instrument, for Life to work through you? Try praying this way – you will find it healing, magical, beautiful and transformational!”― AVIS Viswanathan

Yes! When we look at Step 11, there is an admonition to use prayer and meditation as a way to contact that Power. I do not get that when I pray for what I believe is lacking in my life or the Universe around me. The idea that I know what needs to be done to make life better or that it is in any way wrong or missing some element that only I can see missing is ALL EGO.

I do not know what is the highest and best that needs to be done in the Universe. I never have. I am so selfish and self-centered that even my prayers for world peace or happiness for others is based on a very limited view of what that would look like. Truly, I am not in a position to do, as Jim Morrison sang, “petition the Lord with prayer.”

So, I practice the art of just continuously saying…”Thank you.” All the time. And the more I say that, the more opportunities there are for me to just keep saying it. What we focus on grows, and so; my gratitude increases those things in the Universe that I see as perfect and wonderful and right. When I see a hawk soaring, my heart is filled with joy and peace…and I say thank you. When I see a blue sky, I say thank you. When my gardens are blessed by rain from the clouds overhead, I say thank you. When I wake up in the morning and write about all the wonderful moments of my life, I say thank you. When I see what was questionably misunderstood by me as less than a blessing or a gift, I say thank you. It just goes on and on.

I recently spent a couple of days with someone who truly does not understand this recovery way of life. It is fun. We went into a store and a lovely young man gave us extra good service, and I said “thank you God” as we walked out. He looked at me funny and I said, I knew he was going to recognize that I am God’s favorite kid, and we would have a lovely exchange. He looked at me funny. Then I got a beautiful feather from an owl and a pretty rock and said the same thing. I do this all day…found a dime on the ground and said it. Saw a wonderful sunset and a small flock of egrets flying across the sky and said it. He started to say it too. Said it made him very happy to hang out with me because I am joyful most of the time. And so I am. Everything is a gift and a blessing. I know it and show it and life is joyful for me. What else could I ever want? But saying thank you is the most important part.

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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