August 14, 2015
It’s been said that we don’t see things the way they are but rather we see things the way we are. What we see and manifest in the world around us is a projection of what we are feeling inside and who we believe we are. If spirituality is who we are, we thought we’d ask the patients, “Who do you think you are?”
This is what Spiritual Fridays are all about for me – helping the patients awaken to the idea that they are so much more than they believe themselves to be; they are so much more than just addicts.
We read quotes from:
- Neil deGrasse Tyson, “…the most astonishing fact is that the molecules that comprise our body are traceable to the crucibles of the centers of stars… and we are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”
- Jesus, “You are the Light of the world…”
- Rumi, “You have no need to travel anywhere. Journey within yourself, enter a mine of rubies and bathe in the splendor of your own Light.”
So what does all this mean for us in recovery?
“A spiritual path provides us with a tremendous sense of identity.” -Sandy Beach
One of our patients played the guitar and sang two original songs, both with themes of resilience and overcoming obstacles. After singing, the patient asked if he could recite a poem that he felt really went along with our topic. He recited the following poem by memory:
By William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
I’m always amazed when these things happen.
The Hawaiian spiritual tradition teaches that every child born into this world is like a “bowl of light” containing the radiance of heaven. If rocks are placed on the bowl, the light of original innocence is hidden, but not gone. Fear, guilt, shame, regret, anger, and unworthiness are some of the stones that mask our true brilliance.
I had a bowl full of rocks prepared and asked, “What rocks are in your bowl? Please come up and name your rock, remove it from the bowl, and place it on the altar as an offering to your Higher Power.” The patients loved this! Some of their rocks included: anxiety, fear, self consciousness, narcissism, entitlement, shame, fear, and doubt. At the bottom of the bowl was a crystal heart and the last patient to remove a rock received the heart, full of sparkling light. This was a great exercise that was meaningful for all of us.
In small groups the patients were asked to answer, “Who are you?” Here are some of my favorites:
- “I am a child of G-d.”
- “I am full of G-d.”
- “I am a son of the Creator.”
- “I am one who lives to help others.”
- “I am a beam of light.”
- “I am an ambassador of Heaven, a spiritual being.”
One of the patients said the most important question is, “Who or what am I for the person sitting next to me?”
In closing, one of our patients shared: “I just have this feeling of connection and I just don’t know how to describe it, but it feels really good.”
Thank you G-d.
Reverend Laurie Durgan