September 18, 2015
The first week of September was a difficult week in the community. Most of the week was spent in “Super Groups” that consisted of intensive work: healing, underground behaviors, negative “contracts”, and self-sabotage.
If I could choose one topic we landed on that day, it would be love and hope; seeing with an “inner eye” (our spirituality) the beauty of life instead of focusing on our wounds and hurts or mistakes and failures. We spoke of using our Higher Power as a new way to see, live, and believe in life, ourselves, recovery, and others.
Namaste is a Sanskrit word that means the Light (Divine) in me salutes the Light in you. I often say this to the patients after meditation and I challenge them to really hear what it means. Saint Augustine wrote about how we marvel at mountains, waves, oceans, and stars and yet we pass by without noticing one of the greatest of all beauties: you and I.
One of the patients said, “We need to look at the picture instead of the pixels.”
I gave each patient a composition notebook with a big sticker on the back that said “Blessed”. I asked them to start writing daily at least 5 things that are beautiful about their lives. Gratitude is one of the most powerful and transformative spiritual tools.
I asked, “What’s beautiful for you right now?”
Answers included: Family, people still loving us, acceptance, Caron Renaissance, that we’re not alone, having food and a bed, AA, sponsors, friends in community, and our senses.
I played “Let It Be” as a message of letting go. I shared with the group that Paul McCartney was singing about his mother (Mary), who passed away when he was 14, coming to him in a dream, giving him guidance and bringing him the beautiful comforting words of this song. When we find ourselves in times of trouble, our Higher Power comes to us in many ways to try to help us. Are we listening?
Lastly, we played an indescribably touching video (below). It is the story of an amazing young man of 17 diagnosed with a terminal illness who sees how much he has, not what he doesn’t have. He is a singer and songwriter – listen to “Clouds”.
I pray you enjoy it as much as we all did that day. At the end of our time together, the patients shared their appreciation of simply being alive. It’s good to be alive, loved, and sober.
Reverend Laurie Durgan