Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Recovery

A friend and I are planning to facilitate a six-week group for women this Fall. We're calling it:

Centered Living:
Creating Your Authentic Life

I hope we can get the word out to some people who might be interested. (If you're out there, let me know!)

My friend is an LPC and a certified Gottman therapist. We're going to concentrate on giving women some tools so that they can practice living from that centered place within them. We'll deal with the obstacles to that as well.

Speaking of obstacles....We have planned this for six Wednesday evenings at my church, but now my church is considering moving all committee meetings to one night each month, and, of course, that night just happens to be Wednesday, so we'll have to see how that plays out. I'm hoping my friend can do Thursday evenings if it turns out to be necessary.

Anyway, I'm sure we'll find a day of the week that suits us both. I'm looking forward to it.

Recently, I was reminded how important this kind of thing is. I was invited to be with someone who is participating in an outpatient recovery program at a local hospital--it was Family Night and all her family is in another state, so I gladly said I would stand in their stead. What a powerful evening. The facilitator ("leader" might be a better term since he did 90% of all the talking) was a hoot. His hair was long-ish, below his collar, and he was dressed up like Wyatt Earp with the cowboy shirt and vest, a scarf tied around his neck, and very distinctive boots. Turns out, he's a cancer survivor. The cancer was in his neck, so he dresses that way to remind himself how strong he is. Each morning when he ties that scarf around is neck he is reminded that he's alive. And I think he really enjoys being an individualist like that. Anyway, when he spoke I forgot all about his get-up. Very wise, amazingly articulate, and full of story after story from his own life to illustrate his points.

One of the participants spoke about her authoritarian church background. Saddened me greatly to hear once again of how TOXIC churches and church-teaching can be. She was taught since childhood to bury herself, so lessen herself, to think that she was unworthy at her core. The leader did a great job--he didn't attack her church teachings at all. He went at what he knew was in her deepest heart, that sense of goodness that he knew was there. Wow.

These recovery programs are so vital. I could feel the Spirit of God in that room nudging all of us toward healing. It was palpable. The partipants were in their second week and they had already bonded; it was easy to tell that they loved being there. I was so impressed, and reminded, as I listened to the leader that night, of my own journey toward recovery. It's been tough, but I could really rejoice at the personal work I've done, mistakes and all. And I had a deep sense of satisfaction that night, a feeling of fulfillment with the work we do in ministry and pastoral counseling. Moving toward wholeness--what could be more important?

3 comments:

steve said...

Thank you for sharing this, Katherine. I loved your description of the group leader. And the six week program you're putting together sounds interesting. If you don't mind my asking, is there a particular approach you're basing it on?

Ava Nell said...

I'd like to come to your group. Keep me posted as you finalize arrangements.

Jan said...

Katherine, I wish I lived close enough to be in your group. Oddly, I told a friend yesterday about your dissertation on authenticity. That's the goal of our lives--to become the person God sees us to be.