October 20, 2017
Hi everyone. I hope you’re having a blessed Friday.
"Our greatest suffering often comes from believing the stories we tell ourselves about the way things are or the way 'we' are. Our thoughts and the stories they weave are a product of the mind. They give us only a partial view of life, not the bigger picture. Step out of the story and see." - Ellen Grace O'Brian
Our topics for the last several Spiritual Fridays have been focused on this idea of letting go of the past, letting go of old identities, letting go of old attitudes and behaviors and accepting ourselves embracing ourselves as being so much more accepting and embracing ourselves as Spiritual Beings - as beautiful, capable, and lovable.
Our patients struggle to let go of their past and their old stories and keep themselves frozen in fear, shame and un-forgiveness. The AA 9th Step Promises tell us, "We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others." The Program, as well as most Spiritual Traditions, tells us that there is meaning and purpose in our pain; letting go of the past means letting go of the pain. Letting go of the power we have given that pain and those events/people, and eventually realizing the meaning, the purpose and the blessing the past has brought to our present.
So we asked, why. Why don't we let go of the pain of the past? Why don't we embrace and accept the good and the beautiful in us? And we heard:
"I didn't know there was anything beautiful in me."
"Scared I'll fail at anything else."
"It's all I know."
"I need to be punished for what I did...I need to re-pay it."
"I believed there was no good in my future, only death. My destiny as an addict."
The patients shared many readings and quotes.
Shed What Belongs To The Past
“There are times when we have outgrown a situation
when there is no further nurture to be gained.
this is the moment we must be willing
to let go. For like the serpent whose skin
has grown too tight and worn, we need to shed
what belongs to the past to move into the new
possibility. We may feel vulnerable for a time,
but greater ease of movement will assuredly come.” - Anne Mortifee
"We are here for some special reason. Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future." - Robin Sharma
"Old ways won't open new doors." - anonymous
"When one door of happiness closes, another one opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us" - Helen Keller
So, we shed the past, then what? We embrace and remember who we REALLY are. There is a cleared space as we let go so we can finally see much more about ourselves - so much more love, light, peace, compassion, understanding, and forgiveness. For me, this is what Spiritual Fridays are all about. It is about reminding the patients that who they are is so much more than who they have been.
Maryann Williamson once said, "The goal of spiritual practice is full recovery, and the only thing you need to recover from is a fractured sense of self."
“The Hawaiian spiritual tradition teaches that every child born into this world is like a "bowl of light" containing the radiance of heaven. If rocks are placed into the bowl, the light of original innocence is hidden. Fear, guilt, unworthiness are some of the stones that mask our true brilliance. The more rocks in our bowl, the less light we shine.
The game of enlightenment is not about going out and getting something we do not already have or becoming something we are not. We are already enlightened; we have simply covered our wisdom.
Health, happiness, and success are our birthright, and we carry all we need within us to manifest all the good we seek. But first we must remove everything from our consciousness that works against the full expression of what we are.
What rocks are in your bowl? Begin to note the beliefs and attitudes you hold that stand between you and the light you are. When you let go of one of those impediments, you release your true essence to shine." - Alan Cohen
Our mission is to uncover our true spiritual essence through our daily work, through the letting go, through prayer, through asking for help, and finally acceptance of our spiritual identity so that we can truly shine and live clean and sober, happy, joyous, free, and oh so loved!
Blessed beyond measure.