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​Spiritual Friday: The New Year

Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year!

Last Friday, we discussed our awakenings and blessings as our patients prepared for a sober new year and, symbolically, a beautiful new life.

"A bird sitting 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 that is, we should have great faith in our ability to overcome any challenge that life presents us.

You can tell yourself that you are a powerful manifestor/creator... or a powerful victim – which story sounds better to you? We were put here for purpose: to share our gift with the Universe. We can't do that if we play small and convince ourselves that we are weak and without power to change. With G-d and our Higher Power, we are powerful beyond measure." - Science of Mind

Spiritual perspective is powerful – embracing the idea that we may not know where we're going, but something inside of us does.

We love the symbolism of the caterpillar and the butterfly, but we rarely talk about what happens during the transformation period inside the cocoon. I recently saw a photograph of the interior of a cocoon during metamorphosis and it was filled with green goop. The caterpillar becomes green goop, which then becomes a butterfly. I shared with the patients that they're in the green goop, but that there is a great power in that goop; there is the wisdom to become a butterfly. That wisdom is also within them – the wisdom to become happy, healthy, peaceful, loving, compassionate, forgiving, strong, content, and sober.

"New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings." - Lao Tzu

"You must be willing to let go of who you have been to become who you were meant to be." - Anonymous

We spoke about how to let go of the old stories, histories, attitudes, and beliefs by replacing them with something new, something better.

The patients were given a handout with advice on new beginnings:

1. Pray instead of worry.

2. Forgive when forgiveness is most needed.

Remember, forgiveness isn't condoning someone’s behavior, but rather choosing to no longer be a perpetual victim to the pain.

3. Refrain from judging others when the temptation to judge is strong.

4. Give others the same freedom you want for yourself.

5. Don't let unhappy memories and hurt feelings keep hurting you over and over again.

6. Don't complain. Take action and do something positive to make things better.

7. Pray to make you better.

We also shared this beautiful prayer called "A New Day":

Dear G-d,
Thank you for this day, its beauty and its light.
Thank you for my chance to begin again.
Free me from the limitations of yesterday.
Today may I be reborn.
May I become more fully a reflection of
Your radiance.
Give me strength and compassion and
courage and wisdom.
Show me the light in myself
and others.
May I recognize the good that is
available everywhere.
May I be, this day, an instrument of love
and healing.
Lead me into gentle places.
Give me deep peace that I might serve
You most deeply.

We asked the patients, "What is the best thing that could happen this year?" Responses included:

  • "That I become spiritually awake."
  • "That I'm real."
  • "That I pray more."
  • “Living with integrity."
  • "The best thing would be that I can be there for my family.”
  • "Ending my old way of living."
  • "That I accept myself totally... all of me."
  • "That I forgive."

"Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters." - Buddha

We spoke quite a bit about ending and beginning the year in gratitude, how being grateful can change the way we see our new beginning, our new life. I shared two videos with the patients on perspective and gratitude.

Happy new day!
Reverend Laurie Durgan