November 20th is the mid-point in my sobriety year. Three days ago, the recovery calendar turned to 24 1/2 for me.
I think I remember that first six-month mark–24 years ago–because it came right at Thanksgiving and was the beginning of my first sober holiday season.
I remember spending a good deal of time in November and December of 1991 overcome with gratitude. In fact, I don’t think a single season since then has quite captured the magnitude of emotion I felt then.
Now, in full disclosure, I was an emotional wreck in 1991; gratitude was only one of many emotions that lived on my skin’s surface. I was also angry, bitter and self-righteously indignant, mostly with my family. Those poor people.
24 years ago and now
Six months into recovery found me fiery and righteous. I looked and acted tough although my insides quivered in fear of not drinking or smoking pot during the holidays. My God, how would I survive?
Thank you, God, for feeling comfortable in my skin all these years later. I no longer wear my emotions just above my hairline. Sometimes I may still not like the skin I’m in–I’m working on toning and tossing some of it–but I really like who I am today.
Who cares if it took nearly a quarter of a century to get here?
The gift of willingness
Of all the reasons for thanksgiving and gratitude this year, I am grateful for the gift of willingness. This topsy-turvy year brought me to a recent resting place of sorts; a place where I’m settling in and figuring things out. I wouldn’t have this resting place without willingness.
In this past year I have become willing to:
- 1. Trust the process
- 2. Keep my mouth shut
- 3. Let go of outcomes
- 4. Cultivate awareness and quiet time
- 5. Say, “No, I don’t want to”
- 6. Believe in unknown possibilities
- 7. Have faith in right outcomes
- 8. Love without liking
- 9. Look beyond what I see
- 10. Try something new, then something else
- 11. Sit with uncomfortable feelings
- 12. Say, “Yes, I will do the thing I love to do”
- 13. Bow my head more often
- 14. Leap into adventures
- 15. Lend hand and heart in service
- 16. Appreciate others’ struggles without fixing them
- 17. Reach and stretch mind, body and spirit
- 18. Grow where I am
- 19. Pray without ceasing
- 20. Cherish my family
- 21. Turn from the angry and violent
- 22. Stay mindful
- 23. Caress my heart-mate with tenderness, open arms and a welcome home at the end of each day
God’s grace grants me, not only willingness, but also desire to do each of these things. What a bountiful feast of joyful living!
Feelings of blessing begin with an inner knowing that all is well. I feel well today! My soul feels happy–me, the one who always tried to “figure out” the meaning of happiness. Now I’m basking in pools of heavenly happiness.
My prayer for you during this week of Thanksgiving is that you feel well too. May your soul feel happy, may you uncover your own willingness list and may you grow in your sense of God’s grace.
B Well and Happy Thanksgiving!
Photo courtesy of taliesin