Welcome to another chapter of Grateful Heart Monday, where I begin my week reflecting on a single piece of gratitude to start things off on a positive note, which for today is for finishing an entire year of Grateful Heart Monday entries.
Exactly one year ago, I began writing under this new category in my blog to become more thankful in my life, as I had been finding it rather difficult to feel that due to all my health issues. While it’s been far easier to practice daily gratitude in my evening journal, where I write out ten sentences of things I’m appreciative of, expounding on any single one of them for an entire article proved to be way more challenging. Yet, I took that task on and kept to it for an entire year, and it indeed has helped to keep my outlook much more positive.
In my world, being grateful is sometimes extremely challenging, especially when my physical pain levels rise as high as they often do and my coinciding mental and emotional state become as frayed as it does. Thus, as I end one year of Grateful Heart Mondays and begin the next, I want to thank all the subjects of my prior entries one last time, as it was each of them that truly helped me to achieve this important feat.
So, with that, I’m ultimately grateful for my five years of nonstop blog writing, for still having my eyesight and hearing, for my dedicated and monogamous partner Chris, for never being homeless, for my continuous sobriety and recovery, for all the therapists, counselors and psychologists that have helped me along the way, for all those in customer service positions who’ve aided my many troubles, for the ManKind Project that has shown me how to be a much healthier spiritual male, for all those who’ve braved that step in walking out of a closet that’s helped many others including me, for all the pets who’ve helped their many owners especially my cats Driggs and Smokey, for the awesome beauty I’ve seen throughout the changes of seasons and weather, for all the movies I went to that were such a healthy outlet and much-needed reprieve, for the character Bonnie in “Mom” who has taught me a lot through her role in the show, for the spiritual journey I’ve had with God since the beginning, for my sister Laura who has always stood by my side and never given up on me, for each of my sponsees that have believed in me and blossomed from the work we’ve done together, for my spiritual teacher Manin who taught me quite beautifully much of what’s kept me going in all this darkness, for always maintaining my honesty and integrity no matter what, for being true to my sexuality even in the face of adversity, for Bobby Beans my dear friend who’s since passed on that kept me sane in early recovery, for my 46thbirthday and 23 years of sobriety that were two things I never thought I’d ever make it to, for Cedric my best friend in the world who keeps on demonstrating what unconditional love looks like, for my parents Pamela and Lew who helped me learn so many valuable spiritual lessons, for all those from the Massachusetts 12-Step recovery community who constantly gave me a reason to keep going and helped me to truly see that recovering light, for a friend’s daughter who had a God-encounter that reminded me when I most needed it that God is still around, for the much-appreciated lessons I learned through an Ann Arbor men’s spiritual group I once was a part of, for all the fun I had playing plenty of games of mini-golf with so many different friends, for having learned how to be ok with spending time with just myself, for a boat ride to and from a small island named Put-In-Bay that felt totally protected by God, for a woman named Jean-Marie who took the time to provide me a much-needed reminder that the words in my blogs really do help others, for Jeff Foster, a writer that provided some great insight about healing and pain, for all those who haven’t offered me advice surrounding my health and instead held space and showed deep compassion, for Jesus Christ and his teachings that continue to help me keep moving forward with love and light, for my first sponsor Lorraine who taught me everything I know in 12-Step recovery, for a random guy in AA who was once assigned to my probation in college that forever shifted my course in life for the better, for Randy who never stopped loving me even when I really didn’t deserve it, for a television show named God Friended Me that always seems to uplift me week after week, for the unconditional love and acceptance I’ve received since day one from my AA home group Perrysburg Staying Sober, for my 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid that has kept running and become such a priceless vehicle to me in so many ways, for a fun day trip to Cedar Point that was my first amusement park visit in over eight years, for a place I volunteer at named Rescue Crisis that has given me a huge purpose to keep helping others, for a perfect weather Halloween that had a crackling fire and tons of trick-or-treaters, for the life I’ve been given even through all its ups and downs, for all the kindness and trustworthiness I received from the Alexis Road Tireman store and Jim White Toyota, for Merle’s holiday party where I received love and acceptance from a former AA group I once attended, for a laptop I was freely given by Michael during a time of great need, for the loving connection I had visiting my sister’s family over Christmas, for completing a 2-day fast that opened my heart to greater compassion for those still starving on this planet, and for my Grandmother’s Elsa and Kathleen who were two wonderful women that shaped so much of my life for the better.
I thank God for each of these things, as they’ve filled my entries from one week to the next with all the love they truly deserved and I thank each of you as well, for continuing to take this grateful journey along with me. May Grateful Heart Monday become a thing for each of you moving forward, as it will aid your spiritual journeys in life like I know it has definitely done for mine…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson