GRATITUDE

Definition of Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Synonyms of Gratitude: gratefulness, thankfulness, appreciation,  acknowledgement, respect, indebtedness, etc

The following inspirational notes are made with help from literature about recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs.
Readers are encouraged to click the external links for more detail.
We hope you find them helpful
Love in fellowship

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A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues. –Cicero | More…

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “Thank you,” that would suffice. –One Day At A Time | More…

Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all. –William Faulkner

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Nine reasons to cultivate an attitude of gratitude
1. It brightens your day.
2. It helps you think more clearly.
3. It makes you healthier.
4. It makes you more likable.
5. It makes those around you happier.
6. It energizes you to overcome challenges.
7. It helps you recover more quickly.
8. It opens the way to compassion.
9. It makes you more aware of opportunities. –Life Optimizer (Donald Latumahina) | More…

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. –Melody Beattie/Codependent No More | More…

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Becoming grateful is the strongest, safest means of feeling good now that we are abstinent. Not only does it readily alter our mood, but it changes our perspective on every detail of our lives.

To be thankful rather than “thankless” is a small price to pay for unqualified happiness coupled with serenity. It’s very important to keep in a grateful frame of mind, if we want to stay sober. God takes our efforts for good and blesses them.

God needs our efforts. We need God’s blessing. Together, they mean spiritual success. –24Hours | More…

How much better it would have been had I felt gratitude rather than self-satisfaction
Gratitude that I had once suffered the pains of alcoholism. Gratitude that a miracle of recovery had been worked upon me from above. Gratitude for the privilege of serving my fellow alcoholics. Gratitude for those fraternal ties which bound me ever closer to them in a comradeship such as few societies of men have ever known.

Truly did a clergyman say to me, “Your misfortune has become your good fortune. You A.A.’s are privileged people.” –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.133)

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I am thankful to God for all that I have, and for all that I don’t have.” –Woodbourne, N.Y., July 1980 “With the Aid of AA, My Life Took Another Path,” AA Grapevine | More…

Thanks to recovery, I’ve also gained things I never had or don’t remember having.
I have a peace, serenity, acceptance, understanding and love that I can never remember experiencing before. –One Day At A Time | More…

We began to see adversity as a God-given opportunity to develop the kind of courage which is born of humility, rather than bravado. Thus we were enabled to accept ourselves, our circumstances, and our fellows. –AA Co-Founder, Bill W., January 1962/”This Matter of Fear” | More…

Gratitude Week (the week including June 10th – the anniversary of the founding of AA) gives each member who can afford it an opportunity to give something extra in appreciation of their sobriety. It was originally suggested that members be invited to contribute what they would have spent on one day’s drinking. –AA | More…

When we take on board the full reading of Tradition Seven, we understand the essence of supporting ourselves is born out of the experience of the past – financial independence as part of our tradition puts responsibility for the Fellowship in the hands of its members. –AA | More…

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How can we express gratitude when we feel it? We can begin by simply using the proper forms of courtesy at all times. –Walk In Dry Places/Mel B. | More…

Gossip and criticism are sure ways of disrupting any A.A. group. We’re all in A.A. to keep sober ourselves and to help each other to keep sober. We should try to be grateful for all the blessings we have received and which we do not deserve.

Gratitude to God for all His blessings will make us humble. Gratitude to God and true humility are what make us effective. –24Hours | More…

It is not only to the few that we owe the remarkable developments in our unity and in our ability to carry A.A.’s message everywhere. It is to the many, indeed, it is to the labours of all of us that we owe these prime blessings.” –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.155)

It’s easy to see the problems in our lives. They’re like mountains. But sometimes we overlook the smaller things; we don’t notice how truly beautiful they are. Use gratitude and letting go to reduce the size of problems –More Language of Letting Go/Melody Beattie | More…

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Alcohol produced problems in my life.
I was unable to control my drinking and the result was catastrophe.

I hurt people.
I endangered my health.

I ruined my productivity.
I became lonely.

I felt isolated.
I was forever getting into arguments.

The police were often involved.
People who loved me had to walk away from me for their own sanity.

Alcohol made my life a mess! Today I can see this and I am glad I made the spiritual decision to refuse the first drink. –Father Leo | More…

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Advising of posture remains in AA. ‘Get down on your knees in the morning and ask for help, and get down on your knees at night and say ‘thanks’, runs a bit of frequently bestowed sponsorly wisdom. — The Spirituality of Imperfection/Ernie Kurtz & Katherine Kechum p.70-72 | More…

Gossip and criticism are sure ways of disrupting any A.A. group. We’re all in A.A. to keep sober ourselves and to help each other to keep sober. We should try to be grateful for all the blessings we have received and which we do not deserve.

Gratitude to God for all His blessings will make us humble. Gratitude to God and true humility are what make us effective. –24Hours | More…

The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank.
We can look back on our old life and be thankful for what we are like now. It is sometimes helpful to cast a backward glance. It sharpens our gratitude.

The blessings we experience today are in such stark contrast to the misery we used to endure. We express gratitude to God because we know the good things are not accidental. –In God’s Care/Karen Casey | More….

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When we come to the end of our lives on earth, we will take no material thing with us.
The only things that we may take are the things we have given away. So we praise and thank God for His spirit in our lives and in the lives of others.–24Hours | More…

As a newcomer I was told “we have to give it away in order to keep it.” I soon found it was a privilege to give to the Fellowship as an expression of the gratitude felt in my heart.

My love of God and of others became the motivating factor in my life, with no thought of return. I realize now that giving freely is God’s way of expressing Himself through me.  –Daily Reflections | More…

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I am grateful to AA that I have learned some humility, so when offered help, I can now say, ‘Yes, I can use your assistance.’ Queens, N.Y., May 2014, “Yes Please, I Could Use Some Help,” AA Grapevine | More…

We focus on anything that isn’t going our way and ignore all the beauty in our lives.”
We can use a gratitude list.  We sit down with a pen and paper and list the people for whom we are grateful.

We’re sure to find that we have literally hundreds of things in our lives that inspire our gratitude. Even those of us who are suffering from an illness or who have lost all material wealth will find blessings of a spiritual nature for which we can be thankful.
An awakening of the spirit is the most valuable gift an addict can receive. –Just for Today | More…

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We are made in the image of the Great Spirit.
A long time ago He breathed life into our ancestors.  He made the Indian strong.

He created a Warrior.  Our ancestors created more warriors.
We have been tested throughout the seasons and we are still here, stronger than ever.

It is good to be Indian. We are proud of ourselves and our ancestors.
Mostly we are proud the Great Spirit has never forsaken us, and continues to guide us. –Elders | More…

Focusing on a good point in every person we encounter today will benefit us in untold ways. Recovery is offering us a new lease on life every moment.

It is energizing, focusing on the good points of others, knowing that their good points don’t detract from our own. A strength we can each nurture is gratitude for being helped by, and privy to, the strengths of our friends and acquaintances. –Each Day a New Beginning/Karen Casey | More…

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It’s not just where you go; it’s what you do with it that counts.
Are you having great experiences, but keeping them to yourself?

Are you bothering to get out of your chair and see the sights in your world, or are you staring at your TV? Are you trudging your path, but not gleaning any insights along the way? Are you doing anything of value with what you’ve learned, even if it’s sharing your experience, strength, and hope with a close friend?

Part of saying thanks is sharing our lives with the world. The other part is learning to enjoy our lives, ourselves. –More Language of Letting Go/Melody Beattie | More…

When brimming with gratitude, one’s heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, the finest emotion that we can ever know.

I am grateful not only for sobriety, but for the quality of life my sobriety has brought, and the opportunity to serve others—in our Fellowship, my family and my community. –Daily Reflections 25/03 | More…

We are forever moving from one experience to another, one challenge to another, and one relationship to another. Our ability to handle confidently all encounters is a gift of the program, and one that accompanies us throughout every day, providing we humbly express gratitude for it. Success is ours when we are grateful –Each Day a New Beginning/Karen Casey | More…

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Everything is given to us. Our lives came forth with no plan on our part.
We have no lease on life and no control, ultimately, over any possession.

The cure we learn in this program for our lonely arrogance is a miracle and a blessing.
We accept that we are part of a larger whole.

Now it dawns on us – all of our friends and relatives share this basic powerlessness.
We are all pilgrims. We are all guests.
We are all stewards of creation.  –Touchstones | More…

Force gratitude until it becomes habitual.
Gratitude helps us stop trying to control outcomes.

It is the key that unlocks positive energy in our life.
It is the alchemy that turns problems into blessings, and the unexpected into gifts. –The Language of Letting Go/Melody Beattie | More…

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So many times we forget to say “thank You” to the Creator. He made for us an abundant universe. He built the Mother Earth to reproduce plenty of everything. It is an honor to be a part of the Great Spirit’s world.

The Creator always gives us what we need. When we are given things, we should be willing to share it with others. Whenever we give to others, this makes us feel good inside.

The more we give, the better we feel. The better we feel, the more we want to give.
We need to teach this to our children. The children learn by our behavior. –Elders | More…

And, speaking for Dr. Bob and myself, I gratefully declare that had it not been for our wives, Anne and Lois, neither of us could have lived to see A.A.’s be-ginning. –Daily Reflections 07/04 | More…

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Whatever understanding a man has, this program includes his perspective. It dictates none. –Touchstones | More…

Even in recovery, we often feel we are not enough. But we are enough. We are of great value. We all need each other to stay sober. –Keep It Simple | More…

The feeling of gratitude is foreign to many of us. We came to this program feeling worthless, sometimes rejected, frequently depressed. It seemed life had heaped problems in our laps, and so it had.

The difference now is that the program has offered us the key to higher expectations.
Gratitude for the good in our lives increases the good. –Each Day a New Beginning/Karen Casey | More…

Though I still find it difficult to accept today’s pain and anxiety with any great degree of serenity – as those more advanced in the spiritual life seem able to do – I can give thanks for present pain nevertheless. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.266)

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We did not create this program on our own, and we did not achieve abstinence by ourselves. Our recovery is a gift, just as life is a gift. Light, the natural world, our nourishment, talents, love, and fellowship – all come from our Higher Power.

Our role is to receive, use wisely, share, and enjoy the blessings God has showered upon us. When we get over the idea that we can do everything by ourselves, we become receptive to the moving force that creates and sustains us. –Food for Thought/Elisabeth L. | More…

The best reason for gratitude is the outlook it creates as we cultivate it within ourselves.
We will actually feel mentally and physically uplifted if we know true gratitude. This is the true spiritual outlook alcoholics seek in the bottle but can find only in the new way of life. –Walk In Dry Places/Mel B. | More…

During our first days in The Program, we got rid of alcohol and pills. We got rid of the addictive substances, but we couldn’t get rid of our addictions until we took further action.

So we also had to learn to toss self-pity, self-justification, self-righteousness and self-will straight out the window. And we had to take personal responsibility.

To gain enough humility and self-respect to stay alive at all, we had to  give up our most valued possessions — our ambition and our pride. –A Day At A Time | More…

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Say thank you, until we mean it. Thank God, life, and the universe for everyone and everything sent your way. Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. Gratitude makes things right.

Say thank you, until you mean it. If you say it long enough, you will believe it. –The Language of Letting Go/Melody Beattie | More…

“An attitude of gratitude,” will help us on our path. Gratitude is a tonic for our self-pity.
Saying “thank you” actually opens us to receive more of life’s blessings,

Gratitude is so simple we sometimes dismiss it while looking for a more complicated answer in our lives. We can say “thank you” for all the simple things like trees, cool air, food, and love between people. –Touchstones | More…

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The A.A. way is the way of sobriety. Gratitude to God is the theme of Thanksgiving Day.
Our families, our homes, our friends, our A.A. fellowship; all these things are free gifts of God to us. “But for the grace of God,” we would not have them. –24 Hours | More…

Grateful thoughts
Destroying pride — man becomes endearing
Destroying anger — man gets rid of sorrow
Destroying desire — man acquires peace
Destroying greed — man achieves happiness
We are never more than one grateful thought away from peace of heart. –Anon

It is not only to the few that we owe the remarkable developments in our unity and in our ability to carry A.A.’s message everywhere. It is to the many, indeed, it is to the labours of all of us that we owe these prime blessings.” –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.155)

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When things don’t go our way in recovery,
our sponsor may direct us to make a “gratitude list.”

When we do, we should include our faith in a Power greater than ourselves on the list.
One of the greatest gifts we receive from the Twelve Steps is our belief in a God of our own understanding.

The Twelve Steps gently lead us toward a spiritual awakening.
The steps are our path to a relationship with a God of our understanding.

Our recovery is a gift, a gift that we sometimes take for granted. Each day we stay clean, we can rejoice in our Higher Power’s care. –Just For Today | More…

It’s so easy to forget to be grateful for our many blessings.
The rut of complacency claims all of us at one time or another.

Our complacency can lead us to the stinking thinking and that’s only a step away from drinking or compulsive behavior. Practicing gratitude will keep us aware of the small and large miracles that we have experienced on this recovery journey.

We are walking miracles, and God has a plan for the rest of our lives. Let’s be ready for it –A Woman’s Spirit/Karen Casey | More….

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