December 22, 2017
Gratitude, hope, inner gifts - these are the topics we've been discussing to help the patients to "see" that there is so much more to life and to them than perhaps they have ever realized. In a time when they could be feeling resentful, hopeless and unable to give anything, our patients need to hear the beautiful "truth" spirituality tells. That no matter how far down they have fallen, no matter what they have done, or who they have been – love and the ability to love has never left them:
"Our potential to love is very real and is somehow not destroyed, no matter what we experience: all of the mistakes we might make, all of the times that we are caught in reaction, all of the times we have caused pain, all of the times we have suffered. Throughout everything, our potential to love remains intact and pure." – Sharon Salzberg
This quote is a patient favorite! It invokes a sense of hope, gratefulness, and remembrance that we ALWAYS have something to give.
A few weeks ago, I gave the community thank you notes and asked them to choose a staff member or two and share their thoughts and feelings of gratitude. This was a way for them to take a moment to really look for the good, the love and support that surrounds them.
"If we see our life full of problems, it will be. When we look for what is wrong, we find it everywhere. Often this is just an old habit. Discard it today and look for the good. The antidote for regret is to move our awareness into the present moment. Consider what you can do now that makes a difference." – Ellen Grace O'Brien
So, in the present moment, what can you do to make a difference in your life and in the life of others?
With our patient Christmas Tree at the center of the room, we asked the patients to write down on a gift tag what gift they are giving this year. The spiritual gifts will they give to bless the community, their families, their lives. We asked them to write their prayers, their wishes, their dreams, and tie them to the tree.
"Our prayers are answered not when we are given what we ask, but when we are challenged to be what we can be." – Morris Adler
Such a different way to think of prayer for our patients, but so powerful!
I've linked below some videos we showed, suggested by a current patient and an alumni! It always warms my heart when an alumni reaches out to me with something they think would be helpful on Spiritual Friday!
"Gratitude opens the heart to joy.
Thank you for the loss that deepens me.
Thank you for the sorrow that humbles me.
Thank you for the pain that tempers me,
the work that strengthens me, the
disappointments that help me to surrender.
Thank you for the changing fortunes of life
that teach discernment, compassion,
perseverance, patience, courage an so much more.
We either give thanks for all that comes
our way, even if it causes us to weep,
or we remain small, petty and complaining."
- Ann Mortifee
Make sure to listen – the Jim Carey video is awesome!
Sent with hope for our patients, gratitude for this work, and a humbled heart. Awed by all the beautiful gifts of Spirit in this life.
"I'm thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn't have stumbled across my strength." – anonymous