July 03, 2015
“I will rely on the love and care of my Higher Power to relieve my fear of life today. Serenity grows out of surrender.” -Anonymous
For the next few weeks, I thought it might be helpful to give the patients some spiritual tools to help quiet their fears. Our topic this past Friday was surrender, and we gave the patients the poem/prayer handout that is embedded in this post.
We began the large group with a patient’s reading from the Big Book on “Spiritual Experience”. I have a new book called “Spiritual Awakenings” published by the AA Grapevine, which is filled with a wide range of experiences and personal stories of spiritual awakenings. Two patients each chose a story to read.
Our “If” Questions are always a favorite:
Q: If you could tell your parents one thing you haven’t told them that needs to be said, what would it be?
A: I love them. But most importantly, I need to show them I love them more by my actions.
Q: If you could guarantee the happiness of anyone, who would you choose?
A: I want happiness and healing for all addicts still suffering.
Q: If you could make certain that your parents knew one thing before they died, what would you want them to know?
A: It wasn’t their fault; I’m getting better and I’m happy now.
Really sweet, heartfelt answers.
In our smaller groups:
One group spoke about spiritual awakenings and how they don’t have to be fireworks. One patient shared a beautiful experience he had by simply staring into the eyes of a horse; he said it felt incredibly peaceful to make a magical connection with this beautiful creature.
In another group, a patient shared, “It’s easy to surrender painful things, but not so easy to surrender love.”
Another group asked for more meditation, so they meditated. As a group, they spoke about continuous surrender and how it’s not a “one-time deal.”
“Open”, “peaceful”, “very aware” – these were the words our leaders used to describe the patients in small groups. Surrender seemed to be a spiritual tool all the patients recognized as crucial and deeply necessary for their recovery and happiness.
Two men were walking beside a river on their way to a town downstream when a storm broke and a flash flood washed both of them into the river. One man panicked, tried to fight his way back to shore and drowned. The other man realized that the torrent was beyond his control and relaxed to the best of his ability letting the river carry him. To his happy surprise, the river deposited him on the banks of the town he was headed toward in a much shorter time then it would have taken him to walk.
When you come up against a situation you cannot control, trust that your Higher Power is working on your behalf.
Prayer: Help me to remember that You are present in all situations, guiding me home, even when I can’t see how.
-Alan Cohen, “A Deep Breath of Life”
The patients really enjoyed this story; they understand that there is great power in surrender.
Have a blessed, peaceful week full of love.
Reverend Laurie Durgan