March 06, 2015
This past Friday was amazing! Six of our patients, “The Spiritual Six”, were the presenters for the day. They chose the topic, readings, music, meditation, and “If” Questions. The topic they chose was “Courage/4th Step”. All of the leaders felt so spiritually fed at the end of our time together; I can only imagine how good the patients felt.
Here are a couple of the spiritual readings:
“Garments of the Soul”
The Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson)
“…the primary service of man is turn from evil and do good in actual physical practice, in thought speech and deed. For the purpose of the soul’s descent below is that through its service below it will rise beyond its natural state. And this elevation occurs only through the service of the garments, thought, speech and deed, much like the effect of garments in the literal sense, which add beauty and splendor to the person that wears them.”
“Our Best Days”
“When we were using, it was easy to think the whole world was against us. We know that’s not true today, but it’s still easy to slip into self-pity and not have the courage to look at things as they really are.
Luckily, though, we have friends to help us with this. They care enough to help us honestly confront our self-pity. They can help us to look at our own behavior courageously and find the real basis of our problems. Even if we are not the cause of our problems, we can learn to accept life as it comes and have the courage to deal with it sober. With our new selves, our friends, and our High Power we can be brave and take on what life has to offer.”
With the lights out and only candles burning, one patient had trouble reading so another grabbed a candle and held it up so she could see better. That simple moment was touching and made the patient feel loved and supported. The patients commented about how they are lights for each other.
Our music was “Hallelujah” by KD Lang and “Avinu Malkeinu” by Avraham Fried.
We shared our thoughts on the music:
- “Reminded me of my childhood and the happy memories of home.”
- “I didn’t know the words which was good because it allowed me to just feel and have my own unique experience.”
- “The broken become strong.”
- ” This song was played at a friend’s memorial service; he committed suicide when he was 14. The song made me feel how precious life is.”
Another patient led us in a lovely meditation. “As you breathe, be honest with yourself; that is, see things in your life as they are. Honor the courageous warrior that is within you. Can you trust it to guide you?”
The “If” Questions:
Q: If you could be invisible for 1 hour where would you go and what would you do?
A: I’d sit in my counselor’s office while he was on the phone with my parents.
Q: If you could name a time when prayer really worked, what would you say?
A: Here at Renaissance.
Q: If you could articulate the thing most missing in your life right now what would it be?
A: Interpersonal acceptance.
It was simply the loveliest day for me. I felt so proud of our patients and so honored to walk this path with them.
Our experience was so positive that this will be something I will incorporate into our Spiritual Friday schedule once every 4 weeks or so; I already have patients asking to lead!
Reverend Laurie Durgan