THE IMPACT OF GRATITUDE

Becoming more grateful makes the world a better place.


This morning, I began to list the things I am grateful for. The list began to grow longer and longer. After a while, I decided to stop and focus on some specific things I am most grateful for in my own life:


My family

Love

My recovery

Fellowship with others in recovery

Freedom

Health

My home


This is a short list of things are life changing blessings, each in their own way. Beautifully designed by life, they are all connected. Only God can do that.


This is my favorite time of year. People are a little bit nicer and more caring. The energy is a little bit warmer as the holiday season draws near. I remember the days of being incarcerated or homeless during the holidays. I remember being alone and miserable in my addiction, as I watched families buy gifts and enjoy time together.

Going "without" has taught me a great deal. I have never been more grateful for the simple things.


Any time I focus on things to be grateful for, I discover more reasons to be grateful. We are only lacking when we focus on what we do not have. Further, I must always recognize and separate "wants" from "needs."


Excessively wanting more can easily lead to or reveal a lack of gratitude. This is not the same as ambition, as I am always wanting to accomplish and achieve more. This is in regard to material things and relationships. If I am never satisfied, something deeper is missing from my life.


When we have what we need, we should give our best effort. When I think this way, I become a better person for myself and for those around me. The world becomes better as a result of my grateful attitude and behavior. Life becomes about what I can do and should do with whatever I have. When I think this way, I accomplish more. A positive impact is made.


Today, let us be grateful.

Today, let us do the best with what we have been given.




-Neal