December 11, 2015
Several weeks ago when Sarge, comedian and inspirational speaker, spoke to our patient community, he shared that his most helpful and powerful spiritual practice was MAP: Meditation followed by Affirmation and Prayer. We talk about meditation and prayer almost weekly, but we never really talk about the practice of affirmations to awaken our Spirit and help keep us sober another day.
I often tell the story of the fight that goes on in all beings, the fight between two wolves: The evil wolf (addict wolf) and the good wolf (spiritual wolf). Who wins? The wolf that is fed.
We also have two voices battling within us each day. We have one voice that is negative, self destructive, and tells us to hurt ourselves. There is another voice, inspired by G-d, our Higher Power, or Higher Self, that tells us the real truth and reminds us that we are capable, worthy, lovable, forgiven, and beautiful children of G-d.
As addicts, we have been conditioned to listen only to the destructive voice, so we have to reprogram and learn to listen to the positive voice. A new way of thinking and believing in ourselves takes practice and must be repeated over and over again.
We began with guided meditation:
Breathing in: I am filled with Spirit.
Breathing out: I accept the gifts of G-d.
Breathing in: I am guided by Infinite Wisdom
Breathing out: My courage grows.
Breathing in: I am one with G-d
Breathing out: I am blessed.
Listen with an open heart and an open mind. Know that you are never alone. Love surrounds you, guides you, protects you, and inspires you...
We shared some inspiring words:
BE THE ANSWER TO YOUR PRAYERS.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful
It is our Light not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually who are you not to be?
We were born to make manifest the gloryof G-d that is within us..."
-Nelson Mandela 1994 Inaugural Speech
Sarge gave us this affirmation via text!
"I'm not going to be who I was.
I'm going to be the me who I am supposed to be
by doing all the things I've never done
to be the me I've never been."
We showed a video on the power of affirmation.
The patients really liked the topic, but I think they felt it was a challenge to speak of themselves in a positive, loving way.
One of the patients said, "My therapist reminds me who I really am; she affirms me when I can't."
There was discussion around this idea that we can also affirm each other. They all decided they needed a lot of practice with affirmations!
"People seldom understand the power of repetition. What is repeated over and over again can become enduring. If farmers do not tend to their fields every day, they cannot expect a harvest. The same is true of spiritual practice..." - Den Ming-Dao
I also showed the patients an interview with Russell Brand - thought provoking and really amazing on spirituality. Please watch! The patients really, really loved it!
I'd like to leave you with a prayer read by one of the patients:
I feel that my life is less than it should be.
I cannot find my freedom or my passion.
I have so much inside me that stays shut down, that isn't free.
I hurt so much to know I am not living at full force.
My talents are not used as I wish.
My abilities are not fully formed.
My energies are so suppressed.
Dear G-d, I do not know how to break free of
the ways I constantly negate myself.
I hold myself prisoner somehow.
I know I do.
I know it is my own illusion this prison in
which I live, yet I cannot break free, though I try so hard.
Please, dear G-d, break down the walls that surround me.
Melt this prison.
Free my soul that I may be as You would have
Free to live,
To feel passion for good,
To do good with passion.
I wish to fly.
I wish to feel Your full abundant spirit in me.
Give me this miracle.
Yes, please give us all that miracle! Amen.
Reverend Laurie Durgan