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Gifts I Have

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“Have I been thankful for what I have, or have I ignored my blessings and focused on what I lack?” (Twelve and Twelve, Second Edition, pp. 33–34). In the past, I sometimes wasn’t thankful for what I had. I often longed for a better car, a better house, more money, and other things. Now that I’m in program, I am thankful; I find I don’t need a better car, a better house, or more money. I’ve learned to accept what I have and be grateful.

I think sometimes it was my jealousy about how much more my brothers had that made me discontent. Now that I feel good inside and out, I really appreciate what I have, and I’ve learned that having more doesn’t bring about happiness. Happiness comes from within.

I am no longer in competition with anyone. I just enjoy the fact that I no longer eat over these issues; I write down my feelings instead of stuffing them down with food. Program has helped me in so many ways. I’ve found that love is the answer, not more material things. All that matters is this: when I leave this earth, everyone can remember that I showed love.

The greatest gifts I have now are a loving God and abstinence. I no longer say, “I want,” because I am truly content with what I already have. I’ve truly learned that a house is just a dwelling place; if there is no love in it, then what’s the point?

Every day I must commit to not fall into the trap of jealousy. Jealousy eats from the outside in, while love radiates from the inside out.

I am also truly content with my life and can live just one day at a time. Many stepping stones got me to this place. My eating is under control, and that’s much more important than comparing my life to others’. I am thankful for good health, clothes to wear, and I’m really thankful that I wake up to a new day every day. When I’m happy, nothing seems to bother me about what I don’t have. As I work the program, may I remember that God is first in all my affairs.

It feels good to finally be free of jealousy. I am truly coming full circle in this recovery process. My number-one thing to do is stay true to myself, and that means leaving all this baggage behind.

— Janie B., Adelphi, Maryland USA

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