Tips For Making a Gratitude List

Gratitude

Thought for today:

Gratitude sustains us.  It cannot coexist with resentment.  It helps us deal with petty frustrations and despair over past mistakes.  It is optimistic.  We don’t feel like hiding.  In the worst of times, gratitude improves our lives.  How do we get gratitude?

A member shares:

“I had many resentments when I first came into Debtors Anonymous.  To help me see the positive side of my life, my sponsor told me to write a gratitude list.

“I put together the list.  When I shared it with my sponsor, they said ‘there are no people on this list.  Work on gratitude for people.’

“Unbelievably, I had omitted family, friends in program, coworkers.  Making a gratitude list made me realize my priorities were a little messed up.  I’ve worked on that ever since.”

What am I grateful for?

For some of us, it doesn’t come naturally.  Gratitude is a skill that we need to work at.  There is no perfect way to make such a list, but there are some things we can start with to spur us to others.

We can start with the immediate things in our lives.  Food and shelter.  Clothing and transportation.  The people we live with.  Our spouse, children or other family and friends.

Let’s remember to express gratitude for Debtors Anonymous.  After all, it helps us recover our livelihoods and our lives, and the Twelve Steps, Twelve Tools, Twelve Traditions are formulas for success.  Not debting, one day at a time, is a major source of gratitude.  And how about gratitude for the ability to do service and Twelfth Step work?

The more we deepen our vision of gratitude the better.  We can be grateful for so much more…

  • how our friendships make us feel
  • how our child’s laugh touches us
  • how our pet’s love brings joy
  • being able to walk
  • being able to express ourselves
  • having a career
  • being able to learn or going to school

We will realize that this process of finding things to be grateful for could go on and on.  And the more gratitude we have, the more insurance we are taking out that we won’t go back to debting.

Ask:

Am I grateful?

Meditation for today:

Simple joys surround us when we look for them.  In the busy times, we may overlook them, but they are still there.  Our attention is all we need to give in order to find joy.

Affirmation for today:

“Just for this day, I will be grateful that I have enough food to eat and a place to sleep.  If I lack either of these, I will ask for help.*

* From DA pamphlet P-129

Recommended reading: 

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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