In recovery circles you hear people talk of an “attitude of gratitude.” They say things like “If you’re sober today, you had a good day.”
Why so much about gratitude?
Is it because we’re not living a life of hell-on-earth anymore? I don’t think so. I mean, life in sobriety can be hell at times.
The reason we try to maintain an “attitude of gratitude” is very practical.
It’s like this: While still in our addiction, we felt comfortable being negative and cynical. It seemed normal. And we wanted others to feel the same way.
But recovery and negativity don’t mix. As we recover we continually let go of our old ways of thinking and acting. We let go of our cynicism and begin practicing a newer, more positive approach to life.
“Am I supposed to be positive all the time?”
You may find it difficult (I know I do) to feel positive everyday, all day. But we can try to remain in a positive and thankful state of mind by practicing gratitude. Negativity seems to come naturally – almost effortlessly. Remaining positive, on the other hand, requires effort on our part. It takes practice.
Just as anger and resentment are nurtured in the garden of the mind, so is gratitude. If we are practicing gratitude, then we are working to free ourselves from the negativity of our addiction. We don’t have to remain stuck forever in negativity. Anger, resentment, self-loathing, regret and fear will slip away as we remember to focus on gratitude.
When was the last time you expressed your gratitude to God or to another person? You can begin right now if you so choose.