Gratitude lists are a tool that helps me see the glass half full every day. I joined OA about three years ago. It’s been quite the journey so far. I’m slowly, imperfectly, and gradually transforming the way that I think and the way I react to life.
One of the things that is slowly changing is my sense of contentment. It appears that, currently, I generally see the glass half-empty. I tend to notice the things that are absent in my life, the flaws in events, and the imperfections in everything around me. I have been plagued by this feeling that what I have is never quite good-enough. This inevitably leads me to feel discontent and miserable.
One of the tools that I use now to slowly transform my way of thinking is to make “gratitude lists”. I list five to ten things that I have in my life that I am grateful for. Sometimes I say my list outloud, as I commute to work, sometimes I email my list to my sponsor, and recently I have been texting them to a girlfriend.
When I do this simple exercise, I focus on all the beautiful things I have in my life. I realize how truly blessed I am instead of focussing on what I don’t have. Gratitude shifts my focus from looking at what I am missing and reminds me of the things that I have. As by miracle, I feel full, content. It always lifts my mood.
In the beginning of my recovery, my sponsor encouraged me to do gratitude lists. Now, time and time again, in different ways, my HP has reminded me to do this as well. I sometimes forget and go weeks without doing my list, and then, I am reminded, and I do them again.
I am grateful for the program, for learning this simple and powerful tool. I am grateful that I am reminded, by my sponsor, by fellows or by my HP (through my fellows), to make gratitude lists.
Slowly but surely, with the help of the 12 Step program, I am becoming a different person. A person content with what life has given me; it is truly enough.