February 12, 2016
Last Friday, we continued our series of topics based on the Spiritual Principles of the 12 Steps. We focused on Step 2 and the principle of hope.
We began with several beautiful readings from the Book of Psalms, the Big Book, and Caroline Myss - all with the message of hope.
"Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there... If I say, `‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me becomes night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you." - Psalm 139
"Your soul tells you, 'Everything is in the hands of a force greater than what you perceive in the present moment. Let go. Do not let the illusion of the moment seduce you into a misperception. Let it go. Other guidance is at work that you cannot see or hear. You are not alone. Let go. Surrender.' Only a soul with stamina can truly believe those instructions and have the faith to follow them... Build the stamina of your soul: It's a necessity." - Caroline Myss
"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." - Step 2, Big Book
After our readings and meditation, I played the song, "Peace" by Ajeet Kaur. This piece is quickly becoming the patients’ favorite music, leading them into a time of quiet reflection. We meditated on this:
A Way In
I see in my mind a little ball of golden light.
I watch this light as it begins to grow larger and larger, until now it covers the entire inner vision of my mind.
I see within this light a beautiful temple.
I see a garden that surrounds the temple and a body of water that flows through the garden.
I see that the inside of the temple is lit with this same beautiful golden light, and I am here,
For I have been drawn here by the power and in the presence of G-d.
I dedicate my days and my relationships and experiences to You.
May Your Spirit which is within me, so guide my thoughts, my feelings, and my perceptions of all things
That I might grow into a happier, more peaceful, more loving being.
Illumine my mind, illumine my life.
- M. Williamson
I've been asking the patients to bring with them anything on spirituality they would like to share, from artwork to music to poetry. This week, a patient suggested a video, "The Most Astounding Fact", which offers a new understanding of spirituality to consider and experience. I'm really loving this sharing from the patients.
I then read one of my favorite stories on the topic of hope:
A father gave his young daughter a simple locket and told her that it contained a very valuable diamond sealed inside the locket, so that if at any time she was ever in need, she could crack open the locket, sell the diamond, and make it through any difficulty.
The daughter grew into a woman and struggled alone through many years of heartache and poverty, but just the mere thought of the diamond resting safely inside the locket she wore around her neck gave her enough hope to pull through. Many years later, she had finally found peace in all areas of her life and no longer had to struggle. Her curiosity had grown to the point that she had to know how much the diamond was actually worth.
The woman took her precious locket to the finest jeweler in the village to have the diamond appraised. The jeweler eyed the plain, tarnished locket with a bit of disdain, raised a mallet, and with one swift blow smashed the little locket into many pieces, releasing a small shiny piece. The jeweler held it up the light and said, “Why this is not a diamond at all, but a worthless piece of ordinary glass!” Stunned by the news, the woman laughed and cried… and laughed and cried some more. “No kind sir, that is the most valuable diamond in the world!” she replied, wiping the tears from her eyes. Her father had given her a priceless gem, the gift of hope and belief that she would always be all right and for this she would be forever and ever grateful.
Many of the patients were touched by the story and shared this in their small groups. We all need something to hold on to, to give us hope - whether a chip, a key tag, or a locket - a reminder of something so much bigger helping us, guiding us, protecting us, loving us.
Afterwards, I played an Enya song - sweet and tenderly giving a blessing of hope.
Some of the questions posed in our smaller groups were:
What gives you hope?
"Seeing people who have made it."
What are your hopes and dreams?
Answers included: Law school, to be a good man, to help others, to feel good enough one day, to open a gym.
“It's never too late to begin anew. Tonight, look deeply into your heart. Pierce the veil of illusion and give up those old ideas about yourself. G-d is in you.” -Sandy Beach
Reverend Laurie Durgan