I recently did a questionnaire that puts in order 24 character strengths. I went into the questionnaire not knowing the names of the strengths.
I was not surprised by my top 5. They are: gratitude, appreciation of beauty and excellence, kindness and generosity, capacity to love and be loved and spiritually, sense of purpose and faith.
We often think and talk about our character defects and not character strengths. So doing this work gives me some great incite into who I am and how I am showing up in the world. The other cool thing is the other strengths can be worked on and improved and moved up the list.
Something I can only contribute to recovery, is having an attitude of gratitude. There have been times in my life that I have felt unworthy. Ungrateful. And not seeing the gifts there are from trials, hard days and even conflict. Over the last couple of years, I have developed a very strong sense of gratitude. So I was not surprised that this is my top strength.
According to The Positivity Project gratitude’s parent virtue is transcendence and this strength allow people to rise above their troubles and find meaning in the larger universe. Gratitude is sometimes resisted due to not wanting to experience a sense of indebtedness. However, gratitude is less about feeling indebted and more about being aware of the consideration, kindness and generosity of others.
I am approaching my 4 year of working a recovery program, Celebrate Recovery (CR) I’m giving my testimony at two different CR’s in the next few weeks. Tonight I am reflective of who I was walking in the doors of CR for the first time and who I am today AND JUST HOW FAR I HAVE COME.
And I find myself just so grateful.
Grateful for where I was. Grateful for those who came along side me. I am grateful for those who stuck with me and for those who walked away. I am grateful for the work I’ve done to find myself. I am grateful for friendships that are not like any other I have ever had. I am grateful for making my recovery a priority for the last 4 years.
I am grateful that I can admit that I am powerless. I do not have it all together. I do not have to try and control all of it. I am not responsible for all of it. I am not that powerful and it’s not my job.
I am grateful that my higher power loves me. That I matter to Him and that He wants to have a relationship with me. That He works all things together for my greater good.
I am grateful that I make the decision everyday to turn my life and my will over to the care of God.
I am grateful for fearless inventories. And identify my part and see character defects because I will grow from this information.
I am grateful for being able to admit to God, to myself and to someone I trust, my wrong doings.
I am grateful that I am a work in progress and am ready to have God remove my defects of character.
I am grateful that I can humbly ask Him to remove my shortcomings.
I am grateful for identifying those that I have harmed and become willing to make amends with them.
I am grateful for making direct amends when ever possible except when to do so would injure them or others.
I am grateful for continuing to take personal inventory and promptly admit when I am wrong.
I am grateful for prayer and meditation. Praying for knowledge of His will for my life and the power to carry that out.
And I am grateful for getting to carry this message to others and practicing these principles in all of my affairs.
I am grateful for the 12 steps and learning how to apply them to me and my pain and hurts.
I am perfectly imperfect and grateful.
My journey to serenity continues…