Happiness and gratitude are symbiotically linked, like joyful, adorable
I rarely take the hand of one without feeling the touch of the other.
And that connection is something I've been able to cultivate, over time,
consistently pausing when agitated
to reframe my perception and focus on have
rather than lack;
see things as opportunities rather than obligations
(get to instead of have to).
Learning to be patient and remember that my
to a situation may only be my old friend fear,
hitting the panic button again. (again.)
But once in a while, I (try to) move so quickly towards gratitude
(What AA suggests: Embrace gratitude. What I hear: You better be grateful!)
that it becomes a form of emotional
I don't want to indulge the
parts of me,
(those shadow parts of human nature so lovingly fertilized by my alcoholism)
but I do need to acknowledge,
(on the way to seeing things differently)
how I see things in the moment.
Cultivating gratitude is not about
stuffing how I feel
(in the moment)
or denying how I feel,
or deciding how I feel is "wrong."
Minor frustration, the sour tang of disappointment...
a little low grade melancholy...
those minor chords have a place in my music.
I just don't want to indulge myself to the point where they become the whole song.
"I wish that had worked out differently"
or even "I wish that had gone my way" for a little bit
is fine for me.
But if I remove faith (the belief that there is a mighty rhythm and purpose underlying all)
and add ego
or fear or self-centeredness, then sad becomes
angry with God.
"Wishing for different" becomes "where's mine?".
As I continue to try and find/keep
I have learned to look for feeling what I call "gratitude resentment."
When I somehow manage to make gratitude an assignment, a
"you better... or else"
then I resent my own efforts to embrace it.
Gratitude is a goal, not an expectation.
A view of my life -- and the world -- through a spiritual lens
which gives me the broadest possible context,
which then reveals the abundance,
and the recovery
in my life.
In all our lives.