We cannot have any chance of being “happy, joyous and free” without the Principle of Gratitude for alcohol addiction, drug addiction or any other addiction. I personally am embarrassed to say that after three attempts (the first being 1 ¼ years, the next twenty-two years, and this time sixteen years) to get what these many Programs have to offer, I knew little of Gratitude until a little over two years ago now. Oh, if you would have asked if I was grateful I would have said, “sure I’m grateful.” And the words would have come out just about the way they are written here. They would have been very small and even mumbled.
It has been suggested again and again for me to write a gratitude list. And I don’t know whether I was unable or unwilling or both. I have certainly felt “fantastic” as I use to say when my life literally “skyrocketed into the fourth dimension.” But even then I had very little understanding of Gratitude. I never quite had the feeling of thankfulness—Gratitude. Being a member of these many “more—dis-eases” I was always dissatisfied. Never happy with what I had or where I was in life.
We call this the overriding Principle of Life because without this there is no joy. There seemed to be absolutely NO reason why I should suddenly feel Grateful. My wife had informed me that see wanted a divorce asking me to move out. This effectively made me homeless. I had no job, other than my chosen work spreading the message of the Twelve Steps. And we know what that pays. Yet something happened and I began feeling an overwhelming sense of Gratitude. Most importantly, this feeling has never really left me since.
Now whether I had finally done enough spiritual practices and it therefore dawned on me—I really don’t know. What I do know is that life was as sweet then as it has ever been. Even in those circumstances. Because of that experience I know the importance of Gratitude. Now I do know that I have always been an extremely stubborn person in my life. I certainly was very determined to get what I wanted and anything less than that was totally unacceptable to me. I “knew” I was meant to be rich—I’m not rich. In fact today I understand that it has been those areas of life that I “KNEW” something about that has caused me all of my problems in life.
Today I am Grateful for all I have and all I don’t have. For that reason I have a peaceful, calm, contented, serene, and well balanced life—with JOY.