Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where expressing a slice of gratitude remains the sole focus of my writing at the start of each week, which for today is for something many probably wouldn’t ever discuss openly or be something to ever express gratitude for in a public blog. But in light of all the massive losses of life happening lately by the hands of another, I want to express my gratefulness today for having kept to the 6th Commandment of the 10 Commandments my entire life, that being I’ve never killed anyone, including myself.

“Thou shalt not kill.” I’ve never thought much about the 6th Commandment for two reasons. One, I’m not a religious type of guy who has ever placed much thought on living out the 10 Commandments. And two, I’ve never been a violent person, as I’ve always been more of a pacifist. But recently, I found myself thinking about this specific commandment due to all the rising gun violence and mass shootings in our country, the Russian/Ukraine War and 26 other active wars/conflicts in the world, and a constantly rising suicide rate on our planet with one happening every 40 seconds now. Add in the fact that both of my parents died by their own hands and the many wrongful deaths I’ve come to learn in my 12 Step recovery from those who were under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and I suddenly am finding myself thankful I’ve never took the life of another, including my own.

I truly am grateful that I’ve never killed another in all my years, especially during those when I was addicted to alcohol and drugs, because I most certainly drove under the influence and was out of my mind far too many times. I also am truly grateful that I haven’t successfully taken my own life, as I most assuredly have attempted it in my past. I’ve even thought about it in recent years due to all the chronic health issues that constantly plague me. But my deepest truth is that I want to live, and I want to protect all the lives of others too, which is why I know I absolutely would be a Conscientious Objector if I was ever put in a war time situation. In light of that, I’ve often had people ask me if I would take a life if someone was coming at me or a loved one with a weapon in hand. My answer was still no because I just couldn’t live with myself and the guilt of it all.

So, on this Grateful Heart Monday, I wanted to express my gratitude for knowing with 100% assurance that I’ve never taken a life (including any animals!) and kept to the 6th commandment my entire existence thus far. While I’ve broken several of the other commandments in my life, especially during my active addiction years, I felt the need today to express my thankfulness for having kept to at least this one. I truly do value all lives and am doing my best to value my own as well, because ultimately, I believe all lives matter…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson