Freedom To Have a New Life - Attitude of Gratitude

Freedom To Have a New Life

A Attitude of Gratitude is an alternative life recovery program for those who consider traditional 12 Step groups not to be a good fit at this time. What we offer is an established method that empowers a person to have the freedom needed to have a new life that’s filled with meaning and purpose.

A Attitude of Gratitude is a recovery community with an emphasis on inspiring, encouraging and equipping all involved to be more like the people that we were created to be. We do not proclaim to have the answers to all of life’s questions. This program simply provides a proven process that allows a person to find a spiritual solution to their suffering. How that’s accomplished is by an introductory and complimentary approach to the contemporary 12 Step program.

A Attitude of Gratitude is a free program. There is no requirement to believe or not believe in anything to be involved. The only necessity to participate is a desire for your life to better than it is today.

A core belief here is that God can never be figured out intellectually because faith is not what we think, but what we do. That without living what we say we believe, what we say we believe is irrelevant. So therefore, some of the propositions that this fellowship is founded upon are:

  1. Honesty is needed if there is to be any chance of humility. Humility is the foundation of all real change.
  2. If we take a position of being a student, lessons are available to us everywhere.
  3. Our faith must make good common sense before it makes anything else.
  4. Personal investigation and contemplation must occur if a person is to experience a renewed life.
  5. Embrace differences and seek similarities with others.
  6. Take nothing personally. What other people do, and do not do, is not about us.
  7. Make no assumptions. Unrealistic expectations are resentments waiting to happen.
  8. We do not blame people, places or things for our difficulties. We always strive to do our best.
  9. Once we do what is needed to remove what is blocking us from our potential we can see ourselves as we are; in unity with each other and God’s presence.
  10. Truth is eternal, however our knowledge of it is changeable.
  11. The purpose of life is to have a spiritual awakening. Contemplation is a positive choosing of the deep, shining, and enduring divine mysteries that are hidden beneath the too-easy formulas. There is a spiritual solution to all suffering.
  12. If a person follows their bliss, the life that they ought to be living is the one that they are living. Therefore by living authentically, each of us will inspire others to be free to discover their own voice too.

We realize we know only a little and that God will constantly disclose more to us who seek an intimate relationship.

How is that done? By abandoning yourself to God as you understand God; admitting your faults to Him and to a trusted friend; making amends for the wreckage of your past and then giving freely what has been freely given to you. Do this my friend and you will know freedom.


What is a High-Functioning Alcoholic?

What is a High-Functioning Alcoholic?

Many think that an alcoholic is someone who as lost everything. Although that does tragically happen, that is not always the case. In fact, many alcoholics continue on with their self-abusive lifestyle because they still have a marriage, a career, a house, or something that can convince them that they are still fine.

Just because someone is able to function at work despite their dependence on alcohol does not mean that they are immune to its effects I had the best job in my life when I entered into AA. My motivation was no to stop but to learn how to control my drinking. I knew that if I could go back to just partying on the weekends instead of getting wasted every night, I would be happy again. I just wanted to stop being miserable. Problem was, if I was not drinking I was wretchedly unhappy.  I thought I was damned if I continued and damned if I stopped. Little did I know that the gates of hell are locked from the inside. All I had to do was admit to myself that despite my outward success, I was powerless over alcohol and my life had become unmanageable. I was a high functioning alcoholic.

Here are a few signs that could indicate someone is a high-functioning alcoholic:

They need alcohol to feel confident: Often high-functioning alcoholics feel “locked in” to their drinking because they worry that when the alcohol stops, so will their success. Of course other drugs can be involved too.

They joke that they have an alcohol problem: They don’t take their alcohol dependence seriously or believe that they still have complete control over it. I used to say that getting high was my hobby.

They don’t seem to get hangovers anymore: Developing a tolerance for alcohol can, in turn, convince them that their drinking is not a problem because they are not feeling its effects.

They drink alone: Drinking is not a social activity for them; it is a solitary pastime. I used to prefer to drink at home alone so no one ever see me get mean and ugly when I drank too much.

They replace meals with alcohol: Mealtimes are often an excuse for the high-functioning alcoholic to start drinking. They may even forego the meal altogether because food will absorb the booze and diminish the high.

They become a different person when they drink: Social drinkers do not dramatically change their personality when they drink. Alcoholics, however, behave quite differently.

They become hostile or argumentative when they can’t drink: Alcoholics often suffer withdrawal symptoms if they are forced to stay sober or are cut off from their alcohol supply.

They can’t stop at one drink: They have trouble letting alcohol “go to waste” and may finish friends’ drinks for them. They have trouble setting a limit on their drinking. If a person cannot stop drinking without becoming uncomfortable, they are very likely an alcoholic.

They hide their alcohol: They keep their alcohol stashed in a secret location where their friends and family won’t find it, like in their desk or car. Hiding it or not, they do always make sure that they have enough on hand to make sure that they do not run out.

They deny that they have been drinking when asked: They do what they can to to hide the fact that they have been drinking or try to minimize how many they have had.

Do you recognize any of these warning signs in yourself or a loved one? If so, please reach out for help. It’s not too late.
A Attitude of Gratitude: What Triggers You?


What triggers you?

In place of an annual New Year’s Resolution, I want to suggest that you try simply stopping the behavior you’re most sick of within yourself for just one week.

No matter what, don’t do it. 

Go ahead and feel free to embrace it for all its joyous, horrible worth on day 8.

But for 7 days-

Just Don’t Do It.

Pay attention to how you feel when you’re denied that favorite hated behavior. More importantly, note what you were feeling or thinking about right before you were about to (eat junk, gossip, masturbate, pick a fight, hoard, shop, character assassinate, etc.) and journal or log it.

What are your triggers? And are they external or internal?

Stand still and observe the people in your life who are there because you swap mental hand jobs, are “worse than you” to provide cover for your own ugliness, or make you vaguely uneasy because they seem to walk a talk that you’re afraid to strive for.

You’ll be amazed and empowered at what you’ll find.

– Neil Lepley


Attitude of Gratitude, What Does Recovery Look Like?

What Does Recovery Look Like?

Recovery is quite simply being the best person we can be each and every day. Striving for a life that we have always had available, but have chosen to deny.

  • Recovery is hope, instead of desperation
  • Recovery is faith, instead of despair
  • Recovery is courage, instead of fear
  • Recovery is peace of mind, instead of confusion
  • Recovery is self-respect, instead of self-contempt
  • Recovery is self-confidence, instead of helplessness
  • Recovery is a clean conscience, instead of a sense of shame
  • Recovery is real friendships, instead of loneliness
  • Recovery is a life built upon timeless principles, instead of enduring a meaningless existence
  • Recovery is humility, instead of false pride

Recovery is a recognition that God has done for us that we could not do on our own.

Gratitude Is What Recovery Looks Like.

Attitude of Gratitude, Powerless Over Pride

Step 1: Powerless Over Pride

We all seem to have one thing in common; no one likes to be wrong. Some more than others, but no one is ever really happy when they are mistaken. And probably the only thing worse than being wrong is being told that we’re wrong. I hope you can see that when this happens, it is just a person’s ego being challenged. It is pride plain and simple. Everyone has this in them to some degree and without an awareness of it, we are powerless over it. Now please know that powerlessness is not weakness. It is just not being able to control something.

When someone reacts and resists this way in personal matters, often it’s because they feel like they are being wrongly attacked. When someone is told that they are wrong they may not just feel bad. They may also believe that they are bad because being told that we are wrong challenges what we believe, and many times identity even comes into question.

A person repeatedly being told that they are wrong questions their knowledge, their beliefs, and truth as they know it. Because of this, many will fight emotionally, and even sometimes physically, to prove that they are right. It really is no exaggeration to say that it scares people when their worldview is in question.

Of course it is perfectly fine, even critical, to ask important questions. To ask real questions that will improve the quality of life for yourself. To find and strip away what is true, and untrue, about the power of the illusion of control. Why? Truth is what will provide the wisdom needed for humility to grow and for the foolish pride that kills a person’s soul to diminish.

Truths are really not too difficult to understand once they are uncovered. The challenge is to discover them. And that is what the 12 Steps are for; discovering truths about the thoughts and actions that block you from goodness and greatness. This blockage is what is making you restless, irritable and discontent.

Your growing dissatisfaction with your old worn out ways of being and your underlying frustration with the day-in day-out grind of “ordinary” life is a clear sign that you’re ready to make this shift and consciously engage in the process of self-actualization. But without a specific way to the see the complete blueprint of what is possible in your life, you will perpetually remain stuck and blocked off from who you were created to be. By doing the 12 Steps you are being prepared to actualize your full potential- which is something that’s really way too difficult to grasp all at once. Certainly not just yet.

A Attitude of Gratitude A Balanced Life

Step 1: A Balanced Life

There is so much going on in the world. Messages around us that are affecting us without much if any awareness. Often this constant one-way communication is to stimulate us into making a purchase of a product, but sometimes we are buying a message. That we need or deserve something and if we don’t acquire it, we are lacking. So it can be all too easy sometimes to buy into the illusion of being insignificant or less than others who have what we desire.

We may see large corporations or institutions, celebrities or successful people in our community, and compare ourselves to them, thinking that their fame or material power affirm how little our own lives amount to. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Perhaps you are aware that on some level you believe your life does not matter. If this thought resonates within you, maybe it is time to explore why you feel this way. You may have formed self-rejecting or belittling beliefs as a child. Perhaps you misunderstood that humility is humiliation and therefore self-deprecating was a means to sincerity. Maybe if you conformed in difficult circumstances to keep yourself safe or to help you make sense of confusing situations. You may have felt unseen or unheard and decided that there was something wrong with you, rather than recognizing that the problem was more so with the self-absorption of the people around you. Spend some time looking into where these feelings of insignificance first took root, and see what changes you might be able to make in your life- which is always rooted in your thinking and emotions.

This one belief in your own unimportance could be limiting you and impacting your life in enormous ways. When you shift your perceptions around your own ability to affect your life and impact the world, you may discover wonderful parts of yourself that you had long ago forgotten. There may even be exciting new parts that you never even knew existed. When you gain awareness of how much your life really does matter, new sources of inspiration can emerge and your sense of connection with the world is renewed.

Emotional and intellectual isolation is unhealthy. Loneliness does not come from having no-one around you, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to yourself, or from holding certain views which others find unacceptable. Change your thinking to knowing that your life matters and that you are important. That all other people are valuable too. Look more for similarities instead of differences. Meeting people where the are at intellectually and emotionally is foundational for discovering that life is not all about you but does include you. Your interpretations of what stimulates your head and heart are critical. Your perceptions are your reality.

So if you want a higher quality of life, you need to stop taking everything so personally because everyone sees the world personally. We are all self-centered to some degree and to what amount that selfishness exists, do we each suffer. But please don’t misinterpret this as a reason to become a martyr for the world to acknowledge because that’s just pride wearing a different costume. You can speak your mind but express yourself without the intention of winning.