I could probably write 1000 pages on gratitude.
If I even began to be so humble and think of all the people, circumstances, blessings, God working through my life events that I am so thankful and grateful for, I would be here all day on a pink cloud
with carpel tunnel.
It's always easy for me to look around, especially when I am home, and be thankful for my life. To wake up in a bed and not on the street or the basement of a drug house, it's pretty amazing. Its easy to be grateful for the obvious things in my life. When something is wonderful and brings happiness and makes my life easier, it's just instinct at this point to be grateful.
But.......if I am going with the idea that "everything happens for a reason", that their are no coincidences.....well, then how do I find the gratitude for the things that are not pleasant in my life?
People who are huge pains in the ass, situations that are painful and time consuming, times when I pray my life was different.... thats when I need some gratitude. Not just a reminder that my life is great and look at the big picture, thats what we tell newcomers, I've been here awhile, that shit is good but I have to grow up and work further, on a spiritual level with my painful situation. This situation that Im in that I wish would end, must be happening for a reason. It must be an opportunity to practice some spiritual principles, to work on an area that I need help with. When I am stuck with this person that is such a huge pain in my ass, who really rubs me the wrong way, their must be a spiritual reason for this.
Especially, again, if I am going with the "everything happens for a reason" ....... Dammit!
I can't just take the good with the good, that doesn't work. I have to look at these people and situations as opportunities to grow spiritually. Most of the time, this understanding doesn't happen immediately or even over night. It's usually a process. It's painful and it hurts and I obsess for a period of time about how much I can't stand this person or feel sorry for myself that I am in this situation. That goes on for a while, then when it hurts enough, I begin to pray to relieve myself of the pain. I start saying the Serenity Prayer every time I think about it or catch myself obsessing. That slowly begins to change the way I look at whats going on. Then I talk to my sponsor or other people I trust about how I feel and whats happening. ( I will usually talk to people first who will maybe see my side of the story and agree with me that this person or situation is a huge pain in the ass and I certainly have a right to feel the way I do)
Eventually I will talk to my sponsor who will usually tell me they are sorry to hear about this and they understand, immediately followed by "well, thats just the way it is, and you'll probably just have to suck it up and move on". Dammit Again!
Slowly I begin to accept this person or situation into my life. I begin to be able to live with it and not obsess or let them get under my skin. Ultimately, if I am going to really try and live a spiritual life and continue to seek God in all things around me, I have to start to become grateful for this situation or person. When I think about the times in my life when I learned the most, they were never wonderful, painless times of joy and learning. They were usually the most painful, God awful, gut wrenching times. This is how I learn. This is how we learn as human beings.
When I stick my finger in the electrical socket, it hurts and I remember to not do that again.....
(Unless you are an addict like me, you keep sticking your finger in the socket and can't figure out why it keeps hurting, hoping you'll find a way to do it with no shock.) But, thats what this is all about.
Once I get past my disease and get into the spiritual part of my program, I can begin to work on the principles. When I can look at this person or situation as an opportunity to learn, a chance to "Practice"
these principles, then I begin to not only accept whats around me, I begin to have gratitude for this experience. Gratitude that the outcome will be greater than the pain of this moment. That everything happens for a reason. Sometimes a painful person is reminding me how I once was and how I definitely do not want to behave like that again. A painful situation is teaching me that program works, that I don't have a desire to use over this, and that praying and meditating is always the answer.
So, today I am grateful for all of you big pains in my ass out there!
I am thankful for painful situations in my life that I wish weren't happening, I obviously need to learn something and I'm pretty sure I can live through it today.
It could always be worse, thats for damn sure, and usually it's not nearly as bad as I think it is.
Life is painful at best, and my spirituality is the only relief.