April 29, 2016
I began last Spiritual Friday with this message:
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet..." This wonderful line from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet speaks to a great truth about you and me.
"No matter what we call ourselves, no matter what other people have called us, no matter what they may have written about us, we are forever children of G-d. A rose is a rose. And a child of G-d is a child of G-d. We can call the rose a tulip, but it will still smell as sweet as a rose. People may call you a loser, a failure, a bad child, a rotten person or many other painful names. You can choose to think these things of yourself, but it still doesn't alter the fact that you are a child of G-d.
Let's rejoice in this truth: It's never too late to begin anew. Today is the beginning of the rest of our lives. No matter what we have done yesterday, we can turn to our Higher Power today. We can discard any ideas about ourselves that tell us we are other than children of G-d.
Tonight look deeply in your heart. Pierce the veil of illusion and give up those old ideas about yourself. G-d is in you." – Sandy Beach
Our community had been through many painful challenges in the past few weeks. We held many long "Super Groups" and there were still remnants of anger, judgment, self centeredness, fear, selfishness, and dishonesty. So, I wanted the patients to be reminded of who they really are, not who they have believed they are. I announced that the best way to calm the community and themselves was meditation.
"When a storm is raging and the waves are tumultuous, it is wise to dive deep down to where the water is calm. If we remain on the surface, we will be tossed and turned. But, if, like the whale, we retreat to the quiet depths of our own Being, our true home, we will find rest and peace. Once refreshed, we can resurface. This is the value of meditation. We can weather any storm when we allow ourselves to retreat to the still depths within." - Ann Mortifee
We continued our discussion on the topic of Step 10 and perseverance.
"Marvel at the life force within a seed of grass that breaks through a crack in the asphalt and grows. Such a tiny thing. Such a mighty force. Marvel at the divine life force within you, greater than any obstacle you may encounter." - Ellen O'Brien
This is the same life force that pushes us to persevere in our recovery, on our spiritual journey.
We watched the first 12 minutes of an excellent video, “Steps 10, 11 and 12 - Back to Basics” - this is one of the best talks I've ever heard.
In the video the speaker says:
Steps 1, 2, 3, get me right with G-d.
Steps 4, 5, 6, 7, get me right with me.
Steps 8, 9 get me right with you.
Steps 10, 11, 12 keep me right with G-d, me, and you.
Right now, regardless of what step you are on, you can still review your day and see if there are any amends that need to be made, any attitude that needs to be changed, or any forgiveness that needs to happen.
What are some things that keep you from doing Step 10?
The patients answered: Pride, fear, sarcasm, ego, dishonesty, self deception, and perfectionism.
"When on the roller coaster of emotional turmoil, I remember that growth is often painful. My evolution in the A.A. program has taught me that I must experience the inner change, however painful, that eventually guides me from selfishness to selflessness. If I am to have serenity, I must STEP my way past emotional turmoil and its subsequent hangover, and be grateful for continuing spiritual progress. - Daily Reflections, Oct 3
“Each morning we are born again. What we do today matters most.” - Buddha
Reverend Laurie Durgan