Thursday, November 26, 2009

Practising Gratitude

One of the simplest things I've learned in Al-Anon, is that my thoughts affect my mood.

This sounds painfully obvious, and it is, but it's also a reality that escaped me for all the years of my life before program. I walked around feeling miserable, depressed, angry, frustrated, and all the time, the tape that stimulated those feelings played on a non-stop loop inside my head.

Learning that I could change what I was thinking, and thereby change my mood, was a world-altering event for me.

I have learned that when I practise gratitude, I am happy. Period.

How to do this? Pay attention to my internal dialogue, and when I start to think negatively, stop, remind myself of this truth, and choose to think of that which gives me hope, gives me pleasure, gives me strength, gives me faith.

Choose to think.

 Negative thinking can be satisfying in a horrid sort of way: "I knew that yada yada would happen!" When I'm in that frame of mind, all I want is to be right, I don't care if being right also makes me miserable. In that instant, being right is more important than anything else. Why is this?

I don't know, and I've reached a point in my life where why something happens is far less relevant than the result, and how to effect a different result.

I can watch my mood shifting, slowly at first, I grant you, because a body at rest tends to remain at rest, and my heavier moods are just that - heavy, and hard to shift. But if I put my whole self into it, and really push gratitude, momentum begins to work, and pretty soon I'm feeling giddy with the delight of having seen program work for me, one more time.

I'm tremendously grateful. I woke up grumpy today, got a message from our realtor that made me even more grumpy, and then was standing looking at my little dog, and she did her happy dance, asking to be picked up. That gleeful little wiggle was enough to remind me that I've got a choice - I can push gratitude, and within a very short time, feel as I do writing this - hugely grateful for all my blessings.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you--I am chairing a meeting today at noon and needed something to read on Gratitude. I found your post and it is perfect--from the heart....I will lead the meeting with this today. It says exactly what I wanted to express. Blessings