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Develop An Attitude of Gratitude

My qualifier who brought me to Al-Anon was originally my daughter.  She was addicted to methamphetamines and alcohol. She had a daughter (my grand-daughter) who was affected by her mother’s actions.  Early on the baby experienced physical, mental and emotional violence, homelessness, devastation and a lot of unsafe situations. Never any nurturing, structure,  continuity, and constant chaos were my grand-daughter’s first 6-1/2 years of life.

My grand-daughter’s violent behavioral problems at age twelve, directly related to all the violence she experienced while growing up, have put me through twelve very powerful, extreme, and meaningful seminars. 

One of the tools I have learned is to do a gratitude list for 90 consecutive days.  I had to be grateful for one thing every day in my relationship with myself.  I had to be grateful for one thing every day in my relationship with my daughter, and I had to be grateful for five things in general every day.   Seven things to be grateful for daily, added up to 630 things in 90 days without duplications. 

A great shift took place after I accomplished this. I noticed I became a more patient, calmer, kinder and more humble person.  Finally I was able to surrender my will and my life over to the care of God as I understood Him, and I actually found a way to practice my Step Nine as well. If it weren’t for my daughter’s addiction problems and my grand-daughter’s behavioral problems, I wouldn’t have become the joyous, grateful, peaceful and serene person I believe I am today.  I thanked them both in a letter.  Without their actions I would still be a very angry, (anger fueled with fear) ungrateful, bitter and unkind person and probably never would have found this wonderful program. I am my own qualifier in Al-Anon now and I will stay in this fellowship always.

I also learned that the only person I can change is my self.   I know better now: I live my life and I let them live theirs by minding my own business.  “LIVE AND LET LIVE” that is how I am taking very good care of my self every day.



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