August 21, 2015
There is a spiritual solution to every problem. Our topic last Friday was about changing within. We discussed the idea that our behavior attitude, and treatment of others will change when we change what we carry inside – when we change what we believe, who we think we are, and how we see ourselves.
Anthony de Mello, a Jesuit priest, wrote the following vignette:
Student: “Why is everyone so happy except me?”
Master: “Because they have learned to see goodness and beauty everywhere.”
Student: “Why don’t I see the goodness and beauty everywhere?”
Master: “Because you cannot see outside of you what you fail to see inside.”
We talked about prayer as being one way to change what’s inside. The patients received a small card with the 3rd, 7th, and 11th Steps as well as Serenity Prayers; something they can carry with them. They also received meditation stones that were prayed over by my congregation and blessed on the altar of the church all week. I suggested they think about the idea that people who don’t know them still believe in them and send them love. So why can’t they do the same?
Some of the challenges and frustrations within the patient community:
- Lack of accountability
- Lack of willingness to be a “real” friend
- Covering up for one another
- Dishonesty to avoid consequences
- A weak sense of community, respect, and love for one another
I thought Spiritual Friday would be a good opportunity to discuss these problems. I asked the patients if the description of their community behavior was correct and they all agreed that it was. Then I asked, “Why?” They responded that it was because of selfishness, low self esteem, and fear of being who they really are. There was overwhelming agreement that their misbehaving made them feel even worse. How would these actions help them grow and change, stay sober and live?
I shared the Shakespearian saying on our medallions, “To Thine Own Self Be True”
This does not mean to selfishly take care of yourself; it means be true honest, and who you REALLY are inside AND out. Be true to what you REALLY believe is right.
The best part of last Friday was the YouTube videos I played to try to solidify our spiritual solution. This was a first and the patients said it was the best! You can watch the three videos below:
An Experiment on Gratitude
Happy Ramadan from Coke…”No Labels”
Life Lessons From An Orange
The patients’ favorite was the one on gratitude. I asked the patients to stand if they were willing and express their gratitude to someone in the community. This was really beautiful.
- “Thank you to my grief and loss group… you know who you are. I couldn’t do this without you.”
- “Thank you ____for making me dinner the other night.”
- “Thank you for being my family and for loving me.”
- “Thank you to my Primary group and therapists.”
- “Thank you ____for just listening to me rant the other day in the patient lounge.”
One of our leaders asked their group to close their eyes and paint a beautiful picture, as if they were washing their minds with beautiful soap to change their inner view. I asked them what they painted and some of their responses included: Brotherly love, my therapist, sitting on the porch, birds, colors in the sky, trees clapping, my favorite book Just For Today, the beach, a meeting, and love.
Since the patients loved the videos this week, I’m already looking for more for next week!
I hope you enjoy these as we all did!
Have a beautifully blessed week.
Reverend Laurie Durgan