Gratitude in Action

“Self-made is an illusion. There are many people who played divine roles in you having the life that you have today. Be sure to let them know how grateful you are.”  Michael Fishman

In Step 8 and 9 of our program of recovery we make a list of those we have harmed, became willing to make amends for what we had done and then gone out to contact them to make amends. I clean up my side of the street, take ownership of my past and stop the blame game. It’s an integral part of our healing process and living the program of recovery.

My suggestion for today is to go one step further in recovery: make a list of all those who played significant roles in the life I have today and make a direct act of gratitude. I am who I am today because of the role models I have had throughout my life. My parents, especially my mom who is still an amazing example to me of strength of character and faith, helped to shape me into the person I am today. Yes, I did a Step Nine with mom because I had not been the son I should have been and today I live my amends to her, working toward faith and character. And I am grateful for the love and assistance I received even when I wasn’t anywhere near being worthy of it.

I am grateful to my brother and sisters as well. Each has given me lessons in living and I know will always be a support when I need it. I am grateful to my ex partners who have shown me love and affection. I am grateful to those who have sponsored me over the years in my recovery. They showed me by word and deed how I need to work my program. I am grateful to my sponsees who have continue to astound and challenge me to be a better person.

I am who I am today because of those others around me who stood by me. My success in life is as a result of all the wonderful assistance and examples of those around me. I am not a “self made man”. It takes a community to raise a child and a community to mentor its adults. There are many in my life who have played a ‘divine’ role in creating who I am today. And I am grateful to them.

My challenge is to spread the gratitude.  Let someone who helped you know how much you appreciate their support. Let them know what they did for you and how it helped you. Let them know that they helped to create the person you are today and that you are grateful for their assistance. I guarantee it will make someone’s day if you do it.

I am who I am and where I am today because I stand on the shoulders of those who lifted me up and continue to support me. I am grateful to my community.