We all have to be reminded to get with the program sometimes.
With Lars healing from his surgery, and me embarking on a new exciting phase in my life, full of opportunity and prospects, our programs in AA are more important now than ever. When times are tough and when times are good, a hard worked program in AA can be a grounding lifesaver. I’ve been working the program long enough now to know that, even with its ebbs and flows, AA can remind me of what’s really important. When things are good, it can be a struggle to remember the role AA plays in my life. These days, things are comfortable, a drink rarely sounds good, life is busy and fulfilling. It’s crazy that I can even type a sentence like that. And, living in gratitude has taken me so much farther in my life than I’ve ever been able to go before. The grateful heart that beats in me now is there because of AA. But, it’s hard work to remember that sometimes.
I remember watching an episode of the Oprah Show long, long ago. Long before I got sober. I’m not sure why it stuck with me all this time, I hardly ever watched Oprah, and while I can appreciate her, she was never a beacon in my life. But, in this one show, she said that “when we are grateful for what we have, even more to be grateful for will come in abundance.” I remember scoffing. How ridiculous, I thought, wishful thinking won’t stop ships from sinking. That was my view.
The world had done all these things to me. I was a victim. An unfair recipient of some universal prank. How could I be grateful? Why should I be grateful? What was in it for me? What do I get?
The selfish and painfully unaware existence I once lived hindered me in so, so many ways. I’d let myself fall into a trench and then sat in it, taking no action at all, wondering why my life had suddenly come to a screeching and painful halt.
Oprah was right. If you can’t appreciate what you have, why would you be given more? Why would God or the universe or whatever you believe in bestow you with gifts when you can’t see the ones that sit right in front of you?
AA pushed through the door of my heart, little by little, and forced it open. It allows me to see the good and to face the bad. Working a program returns me to my new default setting. The mode where I am no longer blind to the opportunities that today’s realities have to offer.
So, as I stare ahead into the bright landscape that my life has become, I hunker down and make a commitment to my program and to myself. Because, I wasn’t just given this life I have today. I had to work for it. I have had to unearth demons and still hold tight to song of angels.
It’s hard and it takes effort, but, with seeds of gratitude planted for the things that are, there can only be a field of flowers down the road that lies ahead.