Each year, as it gets colder during the winter and everyone prepares for the holiday season, we like to offer a little sentiment about gratitude. As Thanksgiving approaches, families begin preparing for Christmas and Hanukkah and the turn of a new year, and collectively, and in our own individual ways, we begin to take stock of the things in our lives that we are thankful for, a normal mindset during the holiday season. We take stock of our lives. We see what we have, both the immaterial and the material. We recognize the wealth we have in things like family, friends, a home, a job, a community. We count our blessings.
We know that life is not always divine. We know that skipping in sunny fields surrounded by rainbows and butterflies and puppies is just for cartoons. We know that life can be hard. We know that many of us, especially during the last few years, have had struggles. We have had loss. We have had heartbreak and despair. These difficulties are not resigned to some- they are part of life for all of us. Life is a constant ebb and flow of good and bad, of daylight and darkness, of success and of strive. We would not begin to say that life is good all of the time.
However, no matter what season you may be in at this point in your life and no matter what difficulties or struggles you may have had or are currently having, there is always room for gratitude. The holiday season is a time many of us take a step back and a quiet moment of reflection to find that gratitude. It is what holiday movies are all about! They say you cannot appreciate the sunlight without the night and that it is always darkest before the dawn. These things hold true in the life of everyone. And in those dark times, find that gratitude in whatever you can, because it will almost always bring joy and thankfulness. And in those bright, happy time, celebrate gratitude in its fullest. No matter what season of life, no matter what situation you may be in, no matter what you may be dealing with either good or bad, find the gratitude. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. And see how your perception changes and your mindset shifts. Gratitude brings about the riches of life and unlocks and unending stream of positivity.
The say that gratitude is an action word. For those people living in recovery, they understand the benefit and the value in helping others. And they understand that it is through gratitude that they seek to help those afflicted by addiction, and it is because of gratitude that they do it from a place of wanting to rather than a place of obligation. Gratitude is more than just words uttered in thankfulness or words uttered to a God of your own understanding. Gratitude is more than saying ‘thank you’ when good things happen, and success comes your way. Gratitude is an action word. To be grateful is to share that gratitude with others; to seek out those who you may share your wealth- perhaps wealth of money but more so wealth of life and happiness. Gratitude makes us strive to share with others all the abundance that life has to offer. And with an attitude of gratitude, it is often impossible to find unhappiness. Happiness, rather, waits at each passing turn, at each new experience, and within each new adventure.
Here are some wonderful quotes about gratitude:
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is to not utter words but to live by them.”
John F. Kennedy
“For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile.”
“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.”
“Reflect upon your present blessings- of which every man has many- not on your past misfortunate, of which all men have some.”
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
William Arthur Ward
“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.”
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
These are but a small sampling of thoughts from individuals throughout history that understand the power of gratitude, and the value of keeping an attitude of gratitude and the positive manner in which doing so impacts our lives. In finding recovery from addiction, we understand how sacred gratitude is and the benefits an attitude of gratitude gives to us in our daily lives. In active addiction it can be said that most people are selfish, self-centered, thankless, carry an attitude of condemnation and contempt, look for only what they can get and receive, and are often ungrateful. This type of thinking and feeling feeds into addiction, and compounds upon itself until the individual cannot begin to find gratitude. Overcoming addiction and finding recovery, people begin to understand what it means to be grateful. Their perception of their life and the world around them changes, and they begin to seek a daily understanding of what it means to be grateful and how to exhibit behaviors that demonstrate thankfulness and gratitude. And just as the negative compounds the negative, this new positive mindset and attitude compounds upon itself, making it habitual. It bleeds upon positivity into all aspects of the person’s life, helping to combat relapse and offering opportunities to find blessings everywhere they look. An attitude of gratitude is a wondrous thing to behold.
As we enter into the holiday season, let us all be thankful and find gratitude, no matter what our present circumstance. Let us find blessings wherever they may be and let us share our gratitude and our thanks for those blessings with others. A positive mindset and an attitude of gratitude is infectious, both for us and our lives but also how with such an attitude and outlook, we can positively impact others. May we all count our blessings, be thankful, and have gratitude. Doing so will not only make our lives better, but improve the lives of those we care about, our family and friends, and our communities as a whole.
If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorder issues, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at [email protected]. For more information on all of our drug addiction, alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorder services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.