Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gratitude is the Topic

"I'm grateful today because I'm not living on the streets," said one young woman at the meeting.

"I was reading a story in the newspaper today that talked about a five-year-old girl dying of leukemia," said a man next to her. "Even though I didn't have any problems this morning, I realize that there are many many people in the world who are facing serious issues. I can't imagine what her family’s going through. "

And so it went around the circle. Each person at the meeting spoke of gratitude and the things they found in life to be grateful for. Each of them agreed that there are different ways to look at life. We can look at life and focus on what we don't have. Or we can look at life and see what we really have in comparison to many others in the world. It's all a matter of perspective.

It says on page 62 in the book that selfishness and self-centeredness is the root of our problem. And for many of us that is true. We often take our emotional temperature. We're often feel sorry for ourselves, or else we're feeling elated and wonderful. It's sometimes difficult to find balance.

However, if we wake up each morning and make gratitude the focus of our day we'll find much to feel good about. Gratitude can be the elixir that helps us focus on the blessings of sobriety.