December 04, 2015
The patient community has been really struggling with healing relationships – how to be a good son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, father and whether they can be a loving presence in their family. Healing relationships begins right where they are today. It’s about healing themselves and being a loving presence in their Caron Renaissance community.
I met with a patient a few weeks ago and mentioned self compassion. He said he had never heard of it before and asked me to explain what it meant. He asked how on earth you could feel that way about yourself when you caused so much pain and heartache.
Spirituality is a power greater than us and will helps us if we ask, if we are willing.
If we want to change our outer world (our relationships with others) we must first change our inner world (our relationship with ourselves and G-d). We cannot give love if we do not have it for ourselves.
"Our task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within ourselves that we've built against it." - Rumi
"Seeking love keeps you from the awareness that you already have it – that you are it." - Byron Katie
After a brief guided meditation with music we watched two videos.
The first video on self love is beautiful. The second is a powerful Ted Talk by a woman who shares her story growing up in a home with a mother who suffered from mental illness and learning self compassion as she embraced and accepted her own illness. The patients were visibly touched by her story. At the end, she repeatedly said, "We're not broken. We have all the pieces. We have everything we need within to heal."
Each patient received a copy of "The Prayer of Saint Francis".
In small groups, we asked the following questions:
Can you love G-d but not love yourself?
Overwhelmingly and positively the answer was, “NO, if we don't love us, we don't really love G-d.”
What does "loving you" look like today?
- "Taking care of self, meetings, treatment work, steps."
- "Doing things for other people."
- "Being in the community."
- "Holding yourself accountable and making amends."
- "Goodness in my life."
- "Making people laugh. Being empathetic and caring."
Vignette on self love:
Student: Why is everyone so happy except me?
Teacher: Because they have learned to see goodness and beauty everywhere.
Student: Why don't I see beauty and goodness everywhere?
Teacher: Because you cannot see outside of you what you fail to see inside of you.
Blessings and a beautiful week to all.
Reverend Laurie Durgan