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Why Should We Focus on Gratitude Rather than Lack?

As we’re doing the work to recover, the energy we carry around our recovery can mean the difference between being able to heal ourselves and remaining stuck in relentless recurring patterns of dependence and addiction. Many of us struggling with addiction are also grappling with mental health issues, and we’ve developed certain thought patterns that contribute to our unhappiness, depression and anxiety. We think very negatively. We’re pessimistic, cynical, doubtful and skeptical. We worry too much, we obsess, and we dwell. We catastrophize and think in terms of worst-case scenarios. When it comes to our addictions, how we think and feel about our recovery, about our abilities to get well, and about ourselves, can make all the difference.  

Many of us working to recover are filled with fear and anxiety, about our recovery, about the uncertainty of the future, about the difficult things we’re going through. Our fear can cause us to look at things from a perspective of lack – what we haven’t accomplished yet, how far we have yet to go, how unwell we still are, rather than from a perspective of gratitude for the blessings we have and the successes we’ve had. When it comes to our healing and wellness, we can choose to focus on gratitude, or we can choose to focus on lack.

When we’re focused on lack, we tend to beat ourselves up, criticize and judge ourselves, and be overly hard on ourselves. We hold high expectations for ourselves and are disappointed any time we fail to meet them. We associate ourselves with our failures, our shortcomings, mistakes and flaws. We’re focusing on all the ways in which we’re lacking, all the ways we come up short and don’t meet our expectations. We could instead choose to focus on how grateful we are for the opportunity to get sober, for another day to make our dreams of wellness a reality. We could choose to be grateful for the progress we have made, the small changes we’ve implemented, the goals we’ve defined for ourselves, and the intentions we’ve set. We can be grateful for the strengths and gifts we possess, the traits that are going to make our recovery possible, rather than focusing on the ways in which we feel lacking or unworthy.

Whatever we focus on grows and expands. If we focus on lack, we’ll manifest more evidence of lack. We’ll see the worst in ourselves. We’ll lose faith in ourselves and ultimately impede our ability to recover. If we focus on gratitude, though, we uplift and empower ourselves to believe in ourselves and in our strength, making it possible for us to heal ourselves.

At The Guest House Ocala, we have personal recovery experience and over 12 years in the recovery industry. We have helped countless people recover, and we’re here to help you too. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.