January 15, 2016
After our Burning Bowl ritual last week where the patients literally burned all the old thoughts, hurts, resentments, attitudes, beliefs, unforgiveness, relationships, all that needed to be left behind and not carried into the new year, after they wrote and spoke their commitments for the new year, it was clear that there was a need and a desire to speak more about "action".
I love the quote "Be the answer to your prayers."
I often suggest to the patients the idea that G-d (Higher Power) is not an order taker. We have to participate, we have to help G-d help us by doing our part, by doing our "work", our Steps, our prayers, our service, by being totally committed to our recovery. G-d cannot help us if we are not an active participant!
So last Friday we asked the following questions:
- How can you be an answer to your prayers?
- What does your best year look like?
- What are you going to do to experience your best year?
- Where is G-d in that picture?
"New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings." -Lao Tzu
The patients received a couple of handouts - one a poem that I’ve provided below and the other a worksheet on goals with suggestions of new practices to meet your new life!
For A New Beginning
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
I've started asking patients to bring meaningful spiritual writings, prayers, etc. to share with the group.
This was shared by one of our patients. After taking this Third Step, his sponsor asked him to write the Third Step Prayer in his own words:
"G-d I give my body and power over to you, to look after and support. I'll use my faculties to do the laborious work in life, but I allow your omnipresence to take control over my will, influence my choices and guide my soul. Subtract my self-centered tribulations so that I may see with crystal eyes and that I may add joy to others, myself and the surrounding world. Remove my insecurities so I may continue an aura of altruism, empty my desires so that my truest self can bind to you and learn a self-determination to forever benefit those around me. Amen."
Two patients brought prayers that their grandparents had sent them that they read every day. It was very touching when they read these to the group.
The patients then shared some of the things they envision in their best new year:
- Be more aware if the needs of others
- Regain family's trust
- Successfully completing Caron Renaissance
- Healing with grandmother
- Self love (This was a big one for so many!)
- Live in joy not negativity
- Make amends with family
- Live up to potential
- More patience
- Be a better example for my brother
Many mentioned more prayer, meditation, finding peace and calm.
I played a song called "Another Train" after meditation. There was a lot of discussion about the deep meaning this song holds for addicts, especially regarding taking action:"Get on board..." One patient shared, "We have to get up, step up, take action!
The last video I showed was a beautiful story of loss and joy from a little boy. The newscaster described him as an "enormous power… the power to lift spirits." That "power" is G-d (Higher Power), the power of spirituality in each of us. We all have that power.
Will you use it? Will you find it?
May you find it now.
Reverend Laurie Durgan