October 13, 2017
"Do you have power yet?" was the question many of us asked for a few weeks recently after Hurricane Irma blew through. The same question applies to our patients:
Do you have power yet? How did you get it? Where does it come from? What does it feel like? Can others help you get that power or find that power?
Power is often at the heart of conversations about alcohol and other addictions.
"Remember, we deal with alcohol, cunning, baffling and powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power-that One is G-d, may you find him now." (Big Book "How It Works”)
"Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how do we find this Power?" (Big Book "We Agnostics”)
After Hurricane Irma passed, many of us were without electricity, air conditioning, Internet, cable, and cell phone service for days. Many of our patients had never been through a hurricane, but they havebeen through "storms" in their own lives. Many have been that storm in the lives of others. And whether we are the addict or the loved one of an addict, we know what powerlessness feels like.
There truly are gifts in everything. I love this quote by Rumi:
"If G-d said, 'Rumi, pay homage to everything that has helped you enter my arms', there would not be on experience of my life, not one, thought, not one feeling, not an act I would not bow to."
All of us have a new found appreciation for so much: refrigeration, lights, air conditioning, hot/cold water, sleep, and quiet (no generators running!). Many of us are deeply grateful that we were not panic-stricken in the grocery store trying to buy as much beer/wine as possible for fear we would run out. We are so incredibly grateful to be free from that fear today, free to live and love and experience life on life's terms and help others along the way.
So, we shared our hurricane stories and experiences and spoke about power. We asked the question, "Do we ever really lose power? Or do we simply lose awareness of a power that is always with us and within us?”
"There is One who has all power, that One is G-d. may you find Him now. The Big Book also tells us that G-d is in us. That (Higher) Power within us can heal all the fear, hopelessness, impatience, discouragement, and bondage that Power within us can and will (if we surrender to it) change, transform, create and help us to become the person we dream of”
Our Hurricane passed by on Monday, September 11. When I was in NYC on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, what I remember most is all the white ribbons, everywhere, every mosque, synagogue, church - at almost every meeting place there were white ribbons, where people could write their prayers, blessings, loving thoughts and then tie them somewhere. On fences, door handles, car antennas, chairs, people tied them on their wrists, their hair, they laid them on the memorial. The white ribbons were everywhere. It was powerful to see those blessings everywhere and see that power of prayer change fear and anger to love and forgiveness. Seeing those prayers surrounding me on that day was such a powerful reminder that I am never alone. We are never alone.
The patients were given a white ribbon to write a "powerful" affirmative thought, a blessing, an appreciative word, a prayer. They are a visual reminder of the power within them (and others) to heal, to help, and to bless. I've attached a photo of a few of the ribbons below. The patients loved making these...one said, "Life is a journey...with companions." Another said, "G-d Give Me Strength."
When asked, share a moment of power, we heard:
"When the medics breathed life into me."
"Losing someone I love."
"Silence in the early morning."
I've also linked a precious video about a little boy who lost both of his parents and the "power" within him to heal others. I wanted the patients to experience the gifts that can come in tragedy and loss and the power that comes with love. No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible.
"For many of us, it is easy to believe in something outside of ourselves, but not so easy to believe in the one whose face we see when we look in the mirror. Yet we are told that at the core we are spiritual beings-that G-d works through us, as us. If that is true, then we must behold and love the one whose image we see in the looking glass. I'm not talking about that kind of self-centered adoration of ego. I'm talking about waking up to the worthiness, the preciousness and lovability of our own sacred Self.
There in the center of us we find a deep resilience of Being. There in the midst of us is the fortitude and strength to hold everything together no matter what's going on in the outer world. We transcend small stuff, the fear-filled self. We wake up to who we truly are. This takes great surrender in great humility.
Finally, we must leave behind any notion that we are not good enough or big enough to step into such a vital and important role. I understand who I am beyond what you think of me or even what I have, in the past, thought of myself.
In our complete yielding to G-d, we become. There it is, so simple. It's not about the outer world's opinion any more, yet it is the outer world we are here to serve in our becoming. We are always supported by a Power within." - Science of Mind, July 2017
This was our Friday.
Bless you with love.