November 3, 2023
Gratitude is an important concept within the Twelve Steps. Gratitude is particularly emphasized in the later steps of the program. Here's how gratitude is defined within the Twelve Steps:
"Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out."
In Step Eleven, we in recovery are encouraged to cultivate a sense of gratitude by deepening our spiritual connection or understanding of a higher power. This step often involves:
Prayer: Engaging in prayer as a means of communication with a higher power to seek guidance, serenity, and strength. Expressing gratitude is a common part of these prayers, as we express thankfulness for our progress in recovery and the support we've received.
Meditation: Through meditation, we focus on mindfulness and self-reflection. We may reflect on the positive changes in our lives since entering recovery, express gratitude for our sobriety, and contemplate our continued journey toward personal growth and well-being.
Gratitude Lists: Many of us in Twelve Step programs keep gratitude lists or journals. These lists often include daily or periodic reflections on the things we are grateful for. Gratitude is seen as a way to shift our focus from what has been lost to what has been gained through recovery.
The practice of gratitude in Step Eleven serves several purposes:
Fosters Positivity: By recognizing and acknowledging the positive aspects of our life and recovery journey, we can maintain a more optimistic and hopeful outlook.
Counters Negative Thinking: Gratitude can be a powerful tool in combating negative thoughts and emotions, which are often triggers for relapse.
Strengthens Spiritual Connection: It enhances our connection with a higher power, emphasizing the role of spirituality in recovery.
Reinforces Motivation: Expressing gratitude for the progress made in recovery can motivate us to continue our journey and inspire others to seek help.
Overall, gratitude is an essential component of the Twelve Steps, contributing to the emotional and spiritual well-being of us in recovery and reinforcing our commitment to sobriety and personal growth.