"A grateful addict does not use." I love that. When I lived in Indianapolis, I went to the most amazing yoga studio in the world: Cityoga. The owner and one of the yoga teachers there, Nikki Myers (a veritable fount of wisdom and an amazingly bad-ass woman) was a former addict and 12-stepper (she has proclaimed this loudly and proudly herself so I do not break her anonymity here!). As an aside she started a program called Yoga for 12-Step Recovery. In her yoga, she would talk about gratefulness and she would often say that line. And I always think of it when I am feeling low.
One doesn't have to be an addict to understand feeling low. And feeling low is often the gateway to a host of other crappy feelings: envy, angst, despair, self-pity, self-loathing (need I go on?).
But gratefulness, gratefulness is a filler. Gratefulness, when it's lush, and juicy, and it fills you up (you know the feeling), it leaves no room for the crap.
My brother sent me this link yesterday by the creators of Soul Pancake:
It jolted me.
When we are grateful, we are happy. We feel joy. We understand how small and petty all those other things that come in to our heads really are.
For me, gratitude also cultivates forgiveness. And it cultivates understanding. And it breathes patience.