Express Gratitide

“In daily life… it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratitude that makes us happy.” – David Steindl-Rast

For me, the simple exercise to express gratitude has been, by far, the easiest way of being and staying happy. 

Writing my gratitude list down sets the tone for a grateful day. Texting my wife things about her which I’m grateful for, invites love into my marriage. Texting my friends that I’m grateful for them makes them feel good while reminding me how lucky I am to have good friends. Thanking my employees for doing a great job strengthens their commitment to our company and reminds me that I’m fortune to have them on my team. Letting my kids know how much I love them puts my focus on my gratitude for them, overpowering any feelings of frustration I may be having. 

Gratitude is an amazing tool, and the more I use it, the more ILML!

— JamieQ 

Honoring Myself

“… people are never perfect… ” – Tom Robbins, Attitudes of Gratitude in Love 

I wasted much of my life trying to find the perfect person, in romance, business and friendship. My focus was on getting people (places and things) to change so I could be happy. In program I learned that the only way to create lasting happiness was to do the work to better myself and help others. 

But sometimes those I love do things that hurt me. I’ve learned that rather than engaging or asking them to stop, I simply help them understand what’s uncomfortable to me. I do that by (1) letting them know what behavior is uncomfortable, (2) explaining that they can continue but I will quickly detach from them when that behavior happens, and then (3) consistently, quickly and temporarily detach (as kindly as possible) when they behave in that way. This shows them that I am honoring myself and encourages them to honor me too if they would like to be in my company. It works when I work it, and lately, I’ve been working it. As a result, ILML!

— JamieQ

Let Things Unfold

“I will pray to let go of my own rigidity…” — Courage to Change 

To me, righteousness, know-it-all-ism, and wanting things to go my way, are all interchangeable ideas. When I’m too rigid in my attitudes and expectations, things tend to break-down in my life. Like a little kid yelling “It’s my way or the highway!“, I push against the world rather than going with the flow. Damaging my relationships with others, I miss out on opportunities, creating unnecessary work and stress. On the other hand, when I let things unfold without trying to control and manage every detail, I’m often pleasantly surprised and life goes a lot smoother. Today I’ll relax, get out of the drivers seat and just LML!

— JamieQ 

Life will Change

“… the change taking place is good.” —The Language of Letting Go 

I really take time to enjoy those things that are comfortable, the ones that make me smile and feel happy, knowing they won’t always be there, that life will change. 

And those things that are scary and uncomfortable don’t feel so heavy anymore because, again, I know they won’t be there forever, life will change. 

I’m learning to understand, accept and actually embrace change because I know that my Higher Power has amazing lessons, experiences, growth, and fun awaiting me around the next corner. Life is unfolding exactly according to his plans and today I’m very cool with that. ILML!

— JamieQ 

The Door Out

“… we are no longer isolated and alone in self-constricted prisons…” —12&12 p.124

I don’t feel that you have to be an alcoholic, addict or even a friend or relative of one to be trapped in a prison of isolation – alone with your thoughts and feelings. I think you can be surrounded by family, friends and others and still be trapped in that prison. 

For me, the door out of my prison led me right into the rooms of our program. I sat down, listened, shared and finally felt safe. I was no longer isolated and alone.  I am lucky. We are all lucky. 

For some reason our contempt prior to investigation was overcome by our desire to be free from the prison we had created. Not everyone hits that emotional bottom, but I sure am grateful I did. I love the program and ILML! 

— JamieQ


A Complete Game Changer

“… by letting go of obsolete ideas, I have an opportunity to learn something wonderful about myself.” — Courage to Change 

I’ve been to thousands of meetings, fellowshipped with hundreds of others, read & spread wisdom from our texts and other spiritual literature for three decades, yet I still cling to some old ideas that don’t serve me. Why? Fear? I don’t know. 

Often I wish I could snap my fingers and every character defect and unkind attitude would disappear forever. Sadly, it hasn’t worked like that for me. 

But here’s what has worked: 

My attitudes, actions and outlook are supremely kinder and more loving than they were when I entered the program. Before I embraced the wisdom embodied in our principles, shown to me by many of you, I was trapped in a painful existence. Before I discovered and developed a relationship with a loving higher power, my sole purpose in life was to satisfy my instincts. Before I had a loving Sponsor and Sponsees who trusted me, I felt alone and lost. 

It really is progress not perfection. In fact, my imperfections make me human, allowing me to be more accepting of others’ imperfections. That opens the door for tolerance, patience, compassion and empathy. In turn, when I work my program, these replace fear, self-pity and resentment. And ultimately my reactions are kinder and more loving, which is the goal for me.

The program has been a complete game changer for me. When I set aside “know-it-all-ism”, my old ideas like getting as much as I can, getting ahead at any cost, and getting even slipped away, replaced by new ideas like trusting, surrendering, service, responsibility, spiritual awareness and forgiveness. The road to riches truly is paved with love, kindness and gratitude. In fact, those are the riches. ILML!

— JamieQ

The Glass Door

“… my obsessive focus on my problems was preventing me from seeing the solutions.” — In God’s Care

Last night, during my AlAnon meeting, my sponsor shared about the past and the glass door. He said he shuts the door but looks back through it when he needs to remember what choices he wants to make today. I think problems are kind of like that. I look at the problem to see if I can apply a solution, I’m 100% willing to do the footwork and equally willing to turn it over and await for inspiration if the solution isn’t readily apparent. Relentlessly focusing on the problem, and discussing it with others, is old behavior. Today I can look through my glass door into the past to see that I don’t want to do that anymore. ILML! 

– JamieQ