July 10, 2015
Our topic last week was spiritual freedom; the idea that we can live in a free country yet still not live freely. We live imprisoned and in bondage when our lives are controlled by fear, shame, guilt, anger, animosity, regret, and isolation.
I shared this reading from A Deep Breath Of Life by Alan Cohen:
“Out of the Fishbowl”
While cleaning her goldfish bowl, Mildred drew a few inches of water into her bathtub and placed her two fish in the tub. When she returned, Mildred found the fish swimming in a little circle the size of the bowl.
Just as these fish had a huge bathtub to swim in, so do we live in an unlimited universe. Yet, like the fish, if we have accepted limits from our past, when we have the opportunity to expand our horizons, we may not challenge our limits, so we stay confined in an old pattern…”
Let me not rest content with a life less than the one you’ve offered me.
The patients could really relate to these two little gold fish! I asked the question, “What has been your fishbowl?”
One patient answered, “My bowl has been staying in a place confined by what others thought I should be.” Another said, “My addiction has kept me in a teeny bowl… so afraid.”
I played a song by Sugarland called “Stand Back Up”
I’ve been beaten up and bruised,
I’ve been kicked right off my shoes,
Been down on my knees, more times than you’d believe.
When the darkness tries to get me,
There’s a light that just won’t let me,
It might take my pride and my tears may fill my eyes,
But I’ll stand back up.
Spirituality, a relationship with something bigger than us, is the power that helps us stand back up. That is what has brought us here. The patients really liked this song.
We had time for just a few ”If” Questions:
Q: If you could do something to purify your soul, what would you do?
A: I would be more other-centered.
Q: If you had the gift of magic, what would you do? (Many wanted to answer this one!)
A: Cure cancer.
A: Freeze time.
One patient answered, “Cure my mother’s cancer.” There was a moment of silence and then loving support. You could really feel the love in the room in that moment.
Q: If you could describe the path in life you have taken so far, how would you answer?
A: “What were you thinking and what are you doing?”
We talked about The Promises of AA and the promise of so many freedoms that will come when we take The Steps one at a time and if we work for them. Work, work!
We asked the group, “From what would you like to be free?” Some of the answers we received included:Addiction, therapists, shame, regret, drugs, perversity, legal issues, anger, liars, and resentment.
My favorite comment in the smaller groups was: “We need structure and discipline to be free.”
Spirituality is our path to freedom.
We had cupcakes and lemonade for a nice and safe sober celebration.
Reverend Laurie Durgan