August 05, 2016
"A bird singing in a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because its trust is not in the branch, but in its own wings. Always believe in yourself. From a spiritual perspective, that is great advice. When we contemplate the fact that we have the ability to team up with the power that created all, we realize the incredible strength we carry to overcome any challenge that life presents us." - Science of Mind Magazine
Our topic last Friday was spiritual strength. Step Two says, "We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." A power greater than us is a power stronger than us. Each of us has access to an incredible strength within. We grow that strength through spiritual practices, (prayer, meditation, journaling, yoga, etc.), through challenge and pain, through surrender and, forgiveness, through acceptance and gratitude, in meetings and step work – even in silence we grow stronger.
I played a beautiful forgiveness meditation video – soft music with some of the most powerful quotes on forgiveness I've ever read. The patients were touched by this time of peace, as we followed the video with several moments of silence. This was an opportunity for the patients to reflect inward, to forgive, and to feel the strength and power in forgiveness and in the energy of the group.
We asked, "What does it mean to be spiritually strong?"
"Spiritual strength is: fortitude, conviction, humility, compassion, forgiveness, unconditional love, integrity, courage, sobriety."
We then showed the precious video of the little girl speaking affirmations in the mirror; the patients LOVED this one!! We spoke about how we can be strengthened by our own thoughts and words. One patients commented, "The way you look in the mirror is the way the mirror looks back at you."
Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" is another reminder for all of us that we have the power within us to change and that power is spiritual strength. As we get sober, we discover that strength in so many ways and we also discover that it was there all the time, just covered up with so much anger, fear, shame, guilt, and loneliness.
The patients read several quotes:
"Marvel at the life force within a seed of grass that breaks through the crack in the asphalt and grows. Such a tiny thing. Such a mighty force. Marvel at the divine force within you, greater than any obstacle you may encounter." - Science of Mind Magazine
"G-d is bigger than your past, your depression, your pain, your hate, your anger, your doubt, your fear, your shame, your eating disorder, your self-harm, your anxiety, your loneliness, your scars, this world." - biblequotebook.com
"Just for today, we will steadfastly patrol our thinking and refuse passage to old destructive thoughts. At all times, we will stay in contact with our Higher Power assuring ourselves of protection from our ancient enemy, fear.
We will remain focused on each task at hand and eliminate remorse for the past and fear of the future. With each step that you take along your spiritual way, your confidence will rise. You are no longer alone on your epic journey. You have taken the hand of G-d, and you are entitled to walk with dignity. At the end of the day's trek, gratefully acknowledge the strength and courage you have discovered within." - "Dear Friend", Sandy Beach
I think the patients really felt strength this day, from within and from each other.
We all did.
Reverend Laurie Durgan