I woke up feeling genuinely grateful this morning. Typically, when I'm at a meeting and the topic of "gratitude" comes up, I cringe. I think to myself - it's not even November why are we doing this? And then the month of November comes again and I think to myself - wtf November, you're back already??
For anyone not in AA, reading this, November generally ends up as the month to talk about gratitude because of Thanksgiving. In November we have a Gratitude Dinner and we all get together to celebrate, fellowship, give thanks, hear an amazing speaker, and my favorite - the sobriety countdown. This past year was the first dinner I was able to attend. I've never seen so many AA's together in one place. The attendance was somewhere around 600 for the spaghetti dinner and, for me, it was -without a doubt- a spiritual experience. At the end of the sobriety countdown we were left with two people who were in their 55th year of recovery!
At the end of the dinner when everyone gathered in the traditional circle to hold hands and say the Lord's Prayer, I looked around the room and felt nothing but love. It was that surreal moment when you feel like you're watching a movie and wondering if this is really what people do in an AA meeting, except that you're really there and you know the answer. I felt like Meg Ryan at the end of When a Man Loves a Woman. I felt safe and at home and it was one of the first times in AA that I felt the power of prayer and that everything in life was going to be okay. And it made me wonder... how had I not noticed this before?
Since then, at the end of every AA meeting when we get together, hold hands, and say the Lord's Prayer I look around the room and have a feeling of comfort and love and safety because I finally realize that I'm surrounded by people who know what I feel like and I know that I'm not alone - no matter what.
So I'll keep coming back, no matter what.